The federal government through the ministry of finance says it will name and prosecute tax evaders in 3o days when the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) ends.
Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, said this while speaking at the VAIDS Stakeholders symposium which held at the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre, Murtala Square, in Kaduna on Thursday.
She said the federal government would adhere strictly to the confidentiality of the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters, in line with the guidelines of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
“The federal government has the political will and data to go after tax evaders who fail to take advantage of the tax amnesty programme,” she said.
“Many Nigerians cannot explain their lifestyles or match their lifestyles, assets and income with their tax payment.
“We will close VAIDS at the expiration of the programme on March 31, 2018. And once the programme is closed, we will name and shame and also prosecute tax evaders.”
VAIDS, according to her, has been strengthened by the data on financial accounts, property and trusts shared by other countries.
“The offshore tax shelter system is basically over. Those who have hidden money overseas are being exposed and whilst 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.”
She advised offshore asset owners to utilise the VAIDS window to regularise their taxes before the end of the amnesty programme.