The federal government has fine-tuned plans
to punish and possibly jail entertainers who
evade taxes after the nine-month grace
period set out by the recently launched
voluntary asset and income declaration
TheCable learnt that for 15 months, the
federal government via various agencies and
departments, to include the private sector,
has been gathering information on tax
compliance of many celebrities and high net
worth individuals in the country.
“Highly qualified” agents of the federal
ministry of finance have worked with the
banks, Nigeria Financial Intelligent Unit
(NFIU), bureau de change (BDCs), Corporate
Affairs Commission (CAC), to monitor the
degree of tax compliance of many celebrities
and high net worth individuals.
The government has also reviewed land
ownership, ownership of exotic cars, yatchs,
private jets and other luxurious properties to
understand the earnings and assets of many
of these persons, relative to their taxes.
Following massive revelations, the government
launched VAIDS, a scheme that allows these
celebrities and other Nigerians to declare their
assets and income, and pay necessary taxes
without interest, penalty or investigation.
TheCable understands that the scheme, which
will run for nine months, is a grace period for
the celebrities to make amends of face the
full wrath of the law, which could include jail
term of up to five years.
For celebrities with houses in exotic locations
worth millions of naira, and a tax record not
consistent with the value of the property, the
goverment advises that such celebrities
“complete form VA1” and clarify sources of
income for the house and pay necessary
taxes within July 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018.
Celebrities who do not take advantage of the
scheme risk “up to five-year imprisonment,
get severe extra penalties: up to 100% of the
outstanding tax due, a compound interest at
21% per annum, and foreiture of such assets”.