The Nigerian government on Thursday launched its voluntary asset and income declaration scheme (VAIDS) to broaden the country’s tax base and offer incentives for tax evaders.
The VAIDS scheme was launched at the Banquet Hall of the State House which was presided by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
It was witnessed by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, Governors of Ogun, Kaduna, and Zamfara among others.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the tax amnesty will run for the next nine months, effective from July 1, 2017.
The Finance Ministry also said that from July 1 to December 31, the government would offer “waiver of interest and penalty, no prosecution of tax offences and no tax audit” to all tax evaders who declare their “hidden assets”.
While also from January 1 to March 31, there will only be “waiver of penalty, no prosecution of tax offences and no tax audit”.
“We are doing two things today: we are sending a clear signal to tax evaders in our country that the party is over,” Kemi Adeosun, the minister of finance, said.
“We’re also calling on these evaders to do the right thing and rapidly come clean for the good of their country or face the full consequences of the law. This window of opportunity will never be offered again.
“The proceeds of this scheme will not disappear. They will be invested in key infrastructure projects and for clearance of pension arrears.”
Osinbajo also declared every Thursday “Tax Thursday”, to create awareness among Nigerians on payment of tax and accrued benefits.