Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Beggers will now pay tax in Nigeria, says Min. of finance, Reason will shock you

…as FG hires asset tracers to go after 150 money bags in Nigeria

The Federal Government has said there will be no hiding place for tax evaders in the country as even the beggars will now start paying taxes from their ‘income’.

The government has also engaged the services of asset tracing-companies to investigate the tax payment status of 150 firms/individuals.

This was revealed on Thursday in Lagos by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.

Adeosun explained that investigators would rely on information derived from Bank Verification Number (BVN), records of property ownership, records of foreign exchange allocation, and records of company ownership from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), among others, to ascertain the income status of the companies/individuals vis-a-vis their lifestyle.

The minister, who delivered a lecture at PWC’s Business School, with the theme: “Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) Interactive Session for Executives and Business Owners” said: “We are using some firms (I will not mention their names) to trace assets internationally.

“We are working alongside projects we have locally, like the Bank Verification Number (BVN), records of property ownership, records of property allocation, records of company ownership from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), among others. It is from these projects that we look at how much tax such companies or individuals should be paying.”

She said findings from these statistics would be computed, and compared with how much tax the person/company is paying to know if the right taxes are being paid or not.

Adeosun said: “The investigators’ findings will enable us compare the income and how much tax the company/person is really paying, and that gives us lots of information. But we encourage people to come up and pay their taxes willingly.”

She added: “You can register a high-end car. It tells me something about your income. So we look at your tax returns. If you registered Mercedes E-Class and you are paying N100, 000 tax, then something is wrong. Those are red flags. We now have the capacity to assess people accurately.”

The minister said no one would be left out in the campaign to enlarge the tax net, adding that the response being received so far showed that people were embracing the tax policy..

She said some beggars were earning millions, and the government would even look at their lifestyles and tax them, adding that “even proceeds from begging are taxable. You are supposed to pay taxes even if your means of income is begging.”

To Mrs. Adeosun, tax is a matter of law and Nigerians should continue to pay. “We are trying to build an economy where we have oil and other things. It is going to be oil plus and wider economy,” she said.

~The NewsGuru