Nigeria has entered into Automatic Exchange of Tax Information (AETI) with some foreign countries, including the United Kingdom (UK), particularly on overseas assets owned by Nigerians.
To this end, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has advised users of offshore structures to take advantage of the tax amnesty programme – Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) – to regularise their taxes before the expiration of the scheme on March 31, 2018.
Adesoun yesterday in Abuja, expressed satisfaction with the data being supplied to Nigeria by foreign countries under the AETI, to which the country became a party in January 2018.
She said: “The data received in Nigeria with regard to overseas assets held by Nigerians has been impressive and will underpin a long term improvement in the nation’s tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ration, in turn, will improve life for the masses.
“The data on bank accounts, property and trusts, which has come automatically from a number of countries is being used to support the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) by allowing the tax authorities to check the accuracy of declarations received.
“The federal government is also using the data to generate ‘nudge’ letters which are being sent to those identified as being potential tax defaulters.
“The offshore tax shelter system is basically over. Those who have hidden money overseas are being exposed and while Nigerians can legally keep their money anywhere in the world, they must first pay any taxes due to the Nigerian government so that we can fund the needs of the masses and create jobs and wealth for our people.
“The needs of our people for development override any other argument against payment of tax”.