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JTB, FIRS Go After Tax Defaulters

The Joint Tax Board (JTB) in affiliation with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is set to begin what they have described as a “full-scale enforcement exercise” on defaulting taxpayers who neglected to take advantage of the amnesty given by the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) of the federal government.

In a public report signed by Muhammad Nami, the Executive Chairman of the FIRS, who doubles as the Chairman of the JTB, the tax bodies declared that a full-scale enforcement exercise, including trial, is to commence immediately on defaulting taxpayers who did not take benefit of the VAIDS scheme.

“The Joint Tax Board (JTB) in coexistence with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), is beginning on a full-scale enforcement exercise, including prosecution of those defaulting taxable individuals who did not take advantage of the Scheme. The defaulting taxpayers will be assessed to tax following the relevant requirements of the tax laws,” read the notice.

The Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), Executive Order No. 004 of 2017, provided a chance for taxpayers who were in default of tax liabilities to voluntarily announce their assets and income, pay taxes due on them, and in return obtain amnesty from trial among other benefits for 12 months from the 1st of July, 2017.

The scheme also contributed that upon taking advantage of the amnesty, tax reliefs such as freedom from prosecution for tax offenses, freedom from a tax audit, waiver of interest, waiver of penalties, and the choice of spreading payment of outstanding liabilities over a maximum period of three years would be usable.

The Executive Order had however declared that the consequence of failure to obey the scheme would be met with liabilities for the offending taxpayer, including the liability to pay in full the main sum, as well as to pay all punishments and interests that have occurred. This also included a detailed tax audit for the taxpayer and withdrawal of reliefs granted.

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