Nigerian VAIDS: List of FAQ about Tax Regularization [Participation & Essentials]

This post will explain some frequently ask question about the Nigerian Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS). Kindly spread this information by sharing with friends to help avoid prosecution.



    I. Why VAIDS?

    What is
    the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS)?
    VAIDS is a time-limited opportunity for taxpayers to
    regularize their tax status relating to previous tax periods. In exchange for
    fully and honestly declaring previously undisclosed assets and income, tax
    payers will benefit from forgiveness of overdue interest and penalties, and the
    assurance that they will not face criminal prosecution for tax offences or be
    subject to tax investigations. VAIDS ushers in an opportunity to increase the
    nation’s general tax awareness and compliance.




    What is the Duration and Deadline for VAIDS

    The Scheme is expected to last for 9 months only from 1st
    July, 2017 to 31st March, 2018. There will be no renewal or extension, once the
    scheme period has expired all remaining tax defaulters who have not taken
    advantage of its will face the full force of the law.

    What are the Benefits of Participating in Nigeria VAIDS

    Tax evasion is a crime punishable, upon conviction, by
    imprisonment of up to 5 years, while the taxpayer will still be required to pay
    the tax due along with the associated interest and penalties. 

    Typically, a
    penalty of 10% of the tax due is assessed, along with related interest charges
    that accrue at 21% per annum, commencing from the due date of the related tax
    charge. In some cases, the penalty assessed is 100% of the tax due and further,
    the related assets are liable to be forfeited. Those taking advantage of the
    Scheme by declaring honestly and fully will be free from prosecution and will
    qualify for the forgiveness of penalties and interest.

    Another benefit of participating in the Scheme, is that tax
    payers will be able to transfer assets that they had previously held by
    nominees into their own name. It should be remembered that many Nigerians have
    lost assets in the course of trying to conceal them from the authorities. 

    losses typically occur in the event of death or an urgent need to liquidate
    assets when required documentation and proof of ownership cannot be provided.
    The global focus on illicit financial flows is such that global regulations
    will only become tighter with time, thus this opportunity to regularise should
    be seized. Declaration allows assets to be legally and formally held by the
    true owner.

    III. VAIDS Participation

    What types of Taxes will be covered?

    The Scheme will cover all Federal and State taxes such as
    Companies Income Tax, Personal Income Tax, Petroleum Profits Tax, Capital Gains
    Tax, Stamp Duties, Tertiary Education Tax.

    Which period of default will be covered by the scheme?
    While the statute of limitations for a tax investigation for
    honest returns is limited to six years, there is no limit where a fraudulent
    return has been submitted. A condition of VAIDS is that tax payers will declare
    fully and honestly.

    Who is
    entitled to participate in the scheme?

    VAIDS is open to all persons who are in default on their tax
    liabilities. The Scheme is specifically targeted at taxpayers who:
    – have not been fully declaring their taxable income/assets;
    – have not been paying the tax due at all and or
    – have been underpaying or under remitting

    It does not matter whether the relevant tax default arose
    from undeclared assets within or outside the country. If tax should have been
    paid, VAIDS is providing a once in a lifetime opportunity to declare the tax
    outstanding and resolve it definitively.

    individual taxpayers the only participants in the Scheme? Can companies make
    declarations as well?

    The Scheme covers all taxable persons and entities including
    individuals, trusts, executors, registered companies and statutory companies.

    How do I pay the tax due under VAIDS?

    All taxes paid under the Scheme are to be collected by the
    relevant tax authorities including the FIRS and SBIRS, depending on the type of
    tax in issue. Payments should be made to the Relevant Tax Authority quoting
    your full name and TIN as a reference. The bank will issue a receipt for the

    Will I have to pay all the established liabilities at once?

    The Federal Government appreciates that many defaulters have
    assets but may not have cash. Therefore taxpayers will be allowed to enter into
    arrangements to pay outstanding tax liabilities in installments. Taxpayers may,
    at the discretion of the relevant authority, be granted up to three years to
    pay their liability, but will be obligated to pay interest on the outstanding

    What if I do not know how much tax I am owing?



    Once you register for VAIDS by filing the Declaration form,
    agents of the Relevant Tax Authority can help you to calculate your tax
    liability. VAIDS will also be providing extensive training to legal advisers,
    tax accountants and other professionals to ensure that taxpayers fully
    understand their obligations under Nigeria’s tax laws.

    What if I have don’t have TIN and have never paid tax?

    Registration for a Tax Identification Number would be the
    first step for persons who have never paid tax. Your application for a TIN will
    be fast tracked.
    Must I be resident in Nigeria to participate? What if I
    spend time abroad?
    The Scheme is open to all those who were liable to tax in
    Nigeria. It covers Nigerian residents who had taxable undeclared income outside
    Nigeria and non – residents who earned undeclared income derived from or
    accruing within Nigeria.
    Those who are resident outside of Nigeria are encouraged to
    make an online declaration, or to appoint a local agent to make the necessary
    declaration on their behalf.

    What happens to those who do not participate?

    Those who fail to take advantage of the Scheme and are later
    found to have under declared their income or assets will be treated as wilful
    tax evaders and will therefore face the full force of the law.
    Specifically, we have engaged on retainership, one of the
    world’s leading asset tracing and recovery firms who will track the true assets
    of those who have not participated but are believed to have underpaid their
    This will be supported by criminal prosecution, and recovery
    of taxes due with full penalties and interest. In addition, we plan a “Name and
    Shame” programme that will reveal the identities of tax evaders.
    Furthermore, the Relevant Tax Authorities are in the process
    of profiling certain categories of non-compliant taxpayers for ongoing audits
    and investigations, in line with the tax compliance reforms. As such, taxpayers
    are encouraged to make the most of the time-limited opportunity available under
    the Scheme to declare their incomes and assets, and pay outstanding tax
    liabilities to avoid the adverse consequences inherent in the tax enforcement
    processes to be implemented by the Relevant Tax Authorities at the end of the

    Are Nigerians liable to pay tax on overseas income and

    Nigerian tax law is clear that Nigerian tax residents are
    liable to pay tax on their income earned anywhere in the world. Nigerian tax residents
    include the following:
    – Individuals that derive income from sources in Nigeria;
    – Employees that are in Nigerian employment or resident in
    Nigeria for at least 183 days within a twelve month period; and
    – Nigerian companies who were incorporated or have a fixed
    base in Nigeria.
    Will the tax authority review the information filed?
    Yes. The tax authority will review the information supplied
    by the taxpayer. If they are not satisfied with its completeness, they may ask
    for additional information. Indeed, The Relevant Tax Authorities are empowered
    by specific provisions of the relevant tax laws to require participating
    taxpayers to produce any books, documents, accounts, returns and other records.
    Within the Scheme period, an applicant can file an amended
    declaration if further tax liabilities are identified. However, all information
    must be received within the duration of VAIDS.

    Can I declare anonymously?

    No! Declaration cannot be made anonymously. For any taxpayer
    to get clearance, he must have declared correctly and made payment in his own
    name or that of his company as the case may be. Tax declarations are however
    treated as confidential by the tax authorities.
    How can I be sure that information that I provide will not
    be used against me?

    The confidentiality of the information you provide under the
    Scheme is assured. Measures have been put in place for information received by
    the tax authority will be kept in strict confidence, and will not be disclosed
    to third parties other than in compliance with extant provisions of relevant

    Culled from VAIDS Website

    Frequently asked question about the NIGERIAN VOLUNTARY ASSET AND INCOME DECLARATION SCHEME – VAID Deadline penalty date

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