We realised N93bn from VAIDS, N66bn paid up – FIRS

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The Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, has said the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS)  generated N93 billion at the end of the exercise.
Fowler, who disclosed this while yesterday on the side-line of an official assignment in Lagos, said: “We realised a little over N93 billion. Out of which about N66 billion has been paid. It also helped increase the numbers of tax payers in the country.”
Speaking on the next line of action, Fowler said, part of the conditions was that those believed to have been honest in their dealings will not require further audit. He said a few others did not provide sufficient information and the service had contacted them to bring forward more information failure of which will lead the FIRS to take the normal cause of action.
Fowler further disclosed that in the last two years, FIRS had a 100 per cent increase in terms of the number of tax payers: from 10 million to 20 million.
“We already have machinery in place right now and we believe that if we get the required cooperation, that number should go to 45 million before the end of July,” he added. He said FIRS is set to launch the new Tax Identification Number process.
“We call it a new TIN (TAX identification number) registration process. That is going to be launched by the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, on the first of July. Prior to now, we have people undergoing training on how to utilise it.
“What this system basically does is that, it takes the information already in a system plus what we have in our national tax data base. Once launched, we have one tax data base for the whole nation, both for corporates and individuals.
“What that implies is that, if you have a tax clearance in Kano State and you are coming to Lagos for a transaction, instead of the man in Lagos confirming your physical tax clearance paper, he just hits a button and your tax history will show life,” Fowler stated.
He further noted that the system also helps with the capacity to capture biometrics from individuals’ BVN or those captured from the Corporate Affairs Commission. He argued that the benefit will be convenient and transparency.
“If you have a resident who goes to transact business in another state, immediately, your tax position is shown. If you are going to bid for a government contract in line with the law, part of the criteria is to have a tax clearance certificate,” he added.
He disclosed that the information from the data base will be made available to all revenue collection agencies and government agencies where one has to transact business and it will improve revenue generation.
“Even for politicians, they require tax certificate. So INEC will have access to it and can tell if the politicians have tax certificate,” he also said. Speaking on meeting the N8 trillion target for 2019, he said “As at today, we are on course, but our high months of collection are June, July, August and September.”