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Tax defaulters must pay arrears with interests, penalties, says Fowler

Tax defaulters must pay arrears with interests, penalties, says Fowler
July 05
06:34 2018

The Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, yesterday said  Nigerians who defaulted in paying their taxes at the expiration of the grace given by the Voluntary Assets Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), would pay the outstanding taxes with interests and penalties.

The grace given by VAIDS expired on June 30, 2018.

Speaking with State House correspondents after a session with the Federal Executive Council (FEC), Fowler, also said there was no multiple taxation in the country.

He said “The update (on VAIDS) is that it expired June 30. And anyone who has not come forth by now, we shall use all the legal means to make sure that we bring them to book and make sure they pay the appropriate tax with interests and penalties.”

On how the people responded to the VAIDS policy, Fowler said: “Well the response has been very good. We are collating all the figures both at the federal levels and the states levels and I believe that by the middle of July, we should be able to tell the nation the exact progress in terms of the numbers that have declared, amount that have been paid and amount that is going to be paid instalmentaly.”

He said FEC has ratified the automatic exchange of information with other countries.

On the complaints on multiple taxation, Fowler said: “Let me say once again that we do not really have a situation of multiple taxation. You only have multiple taxation when you pay the same tax to different tiers of government.

“What we have found out is that a lot of people categorise any payment to government as a tax. For example, if you receive fine, a penalty, they call it tax. If you pay for parking space, they  call it tax. Those are the things you refer to as user charges and not taxes.”

On what the government was doing to encourage the people to pay their taxes voluntarily, he said: “The Federal Government has, through the Ministry of Information and also through the office of the Vice President, been talking about the different projects that have been financed with tax revenues and I think as Nigerians begin to see those dividends of democracy, very good spending, people will be more encouraged to pay more taxes.”

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