Taxation will soon become a sizzling and scintillating topic to discuss as politics is generally discuss everywhere. All the citizens will join in discussion with the government spheres, join in discussion with the tax professionals circles that are all the while a little comfortable discussing taxation. There are candid reasons why the subject of taxation has created lots of apathy among the citizenry in general.
Nigeria is a developing a country with a very slow growth in infrastructural development across sectors: power, defence, health, transportation, education among others despite the huge earnings from oil which averages at all times about 35% of the GDP. To the dismay of the citizens the funds that are budgeted and meant for the infrastructures expansion and maintenance are usually looted by the leaders undeterred. The Institutions like the police and the judiciary are already pervaded and weakened by corruption and consequently citizen will ask, “Where is the hope of the common man?”
During the 2017 USA presidential election campaign and between the two major contestants, taxation ranked the number two at the top of other major policies of influence to the voters. Taxation issue was the number one political canon that Hillary Clinton fired at Donald Trump and its echo continued to reverberate long after Trump’s inauguration. At least Hillary won the opinion poll!
If the new executive order on taxation signed by the Nigeria acting president on the 29th June 2017 comes on board as planned then one can pull a bet that in 2019, the Nigeria general election will replicate the scenario we witnessed at the USA 2017 presidential election one way or the other.
The Nigeria goverment tax amnesty, the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme –VADIS, an open hands to:
- Individuals and corporate bodies to approach the SIRS and FIRS and make true and full disclosure of their income and assets.
- Make honest declaration and be free from payments of penalty and accrued interest on the unpaid taxes.
- Those who seize the opportunity within the time frame, 1st July 2017 to 31st March 2018 will be free from tax investigation and litigation for the 2011 to 2016 years of assessment.
VAIDS AIMS FOR IMPACTS
The civic duty of every citizen to pay tax will not be restricted to the people in formal employment. Most of the upper class will be under tax searchlight.
- The tax data base will be widened.
- The Nigeria tax to GDP ratio will increase from the very low single digit of 6% to double digit as it is in other developing countries.There will be increase in resources to upgrade infrastructural defecit.
- Citizens will be better focus on the government for transparency and accountability.
VAIDS FACTORS OF INFLUENCE
The success of VAIDS and subsequently government increased earnings from taxation will be spur by the global practice in the Internet enable age and information revolution that facilitate unique identification of citizens across platform like the Bank Verification Number, Tax Identification Number, Mobile Phone Number. There are treaties signed by the government at the international level to allow information sharing on funds flow across border and signing of memorandum of understanding between the federal government and the states government.
It is also expected that the civil society will brace up for the challenges that may wanted to hindered the success or abuse of the system from the realisation of its full benefits to the nation and the citizens in particular.
The time is approaching when the discuss about taxation will no longer produce dizziness or narcolepsy on the citizens as it has prevented robustness of debating its economic and political implications
The time is nigh when the people will genuinely ask the government, what are you doing with the tax payers money?