VAIDS: Data, information-sharing will expose tax dodgers -experts
Tax defaulters and prospective taxpayers have been advised to seize the opportunity provided by the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) or risk being exposed through data and a series of information-sharing agreements to which Nigeria is a signatory.
The advice was given in Lagos yesterday at a one-day training workshop organised for tax professionals by the VAIDS Office in the Federal Ministry of Finance.
In a paper, Mr Peter Ukonu of Financial Derivatives warned that the availability of data from various sources has made it difficult for dodgers to evade the attention of tax authorities.
Ukonu said that data had always been available although not as integrated as they now are.
He noted that cooperation among government agencies and tax authorities at federal and state levels has ensured a profusion of data on incomes and assets, which would be matched with lifestyle to yield a full picture of the tax status of an individual or corporate entity.
Another speaker, Mr Yomi Olagbenro of Deloitte, observed that tax avoidance, especially for those with incomes and assets outside Nigeria, has been made more difficult.
Olagbenro explained that the range of international instruments, which Nigeria is part of, facilitates the sharing of information among tax authorities even without request.
He stated that the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEoI), which starts on January 1, 2018, was one of such tools in the hands of tax authorities across jurisdictions.
Mr Ayo Salami of KPMG Professional Services clarified that not everything declared by an individual would be taxed.