President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the extension of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS or the Scheme) by three months. The Scheme which originally lasted for 9 months and expired on 31 March 2018 will now run till 30 June 2018. As the original deadline was premised on an executive order, a fresh executive order will be issued to give legal backing to the new timeline.
In considering the extension, the President referred to appeals from professional bodies and individual taxpayers. It will be recalled that Deloitte’s West Africa Tax Leader, Yomi Olugbenro, made a passionate appeal to the Federal Government to consider three months extension which will coincide with annual filing deadline of many corporate bodies with December year-end.
This extension provides opportunity for taxpayers caught by the original deadline to regularise their tax position. The Federal Government is convinced that the extension will engender increased tax compliance levels and additional tax revenues to the government.
The benefits of VAIDS includes waiver of interest and penalties, immunity from tax audit and prosecution, confidentiality and instalment payment of any form of tax liability for the period of 2011 to 2016. Corporate and individual taxpayers are encouraged to take advantage of the new window and avoid last minute rush.