The Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun on Thursday said that the level of poverty in Nigeria prevents people from paying their tax, hence one million Naira payable tax can pay 200 families their monthly salary.
The Minister expressed this at the Interactive Session on the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) held in Kaduna on Thursday.
“We are in a situation of national need to grow the economy and everyone needs to play their part by ensuring they don’t evade taxes,” she said.
She called on everyone to come out and do the right thing in spite of the diversity, religious background, ethnicity and side businesses to pay their taxes.
Adeosun urged every Nigerians to declared their taxes as opportunity is given from March 1, 2018 to March 31, 2018.
Addressing the issues of VAIDS at the event, Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai of Kaduna State launched the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) in Kaduna State organized by Kaduna Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS).
According to him, their goal is to raise internally generated revenue till they no longer have to depend on federal allocations.
He said, It is unfair, unjust and unreasonable for only low income earners in the formal sector to pay their taxes.
“We are urging high income earners to stop evading taxes and declare their assets as he voluntarily declared his assets and income since 2017, he said.
The Governor, assured residents of Kaduna that every penny paid as taxes will be used judiciously to provide and improve infrastructure as they are not in government to enrich themselves neither are they in government to share scare resources to a select few.
He explained that, VAIDS is a time limited opportunity for taxpayers to regularise their tax status relating to previous tax periods.
He added, ” the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme ushers in an opportunity to increase the nation’s general tax awareness and compliance.”
He further said, they are set to implement the collection of developmental levies of N100 annually on all taxable individuals and land use charge for the government’s residential areas.
“We do not believe we should live above our means. It is our hope that our personnel and overhead costs should be paid using our internally generated revenues”, he said.
While speaking at VAIDS, the Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris noted that Nigeria’s tax system is based on a progressive system that ensures fairness as those with the highest income shoulder the greatest proportion of the tax burden.
The Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Tunde Fowler commended the State Internal Revenue Service for making tremendous progress within a short period of time.
Mr Fowler added that visions are just dreams without revenues. “Nigerians must play their part by paying taxes as and when due so elected government officials can transform the country,” he added.
In attendance was the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris and other senior officials of the Kaduna State Government.