The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or the Commission) on 25 July 2017, issued a general circular mandating Capital Market Operators (CMO) and Public Limited Companies (PLC) to ensure that they regularize their tax status under the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) recently signed by the Acting President – Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
The Commission also stated that commencing from 31st March 2018, it will require all CMOs and PLCs to show evidence of compliance with VAIDS or a clean tax status as part of their mandatory submissions to the Commission. Further, the Commission stated that failure to comply with the circular shall result in appropriate sanctions.
This move by SEC further emphasises the Federal Government’s resolve to increase the level of tax awareness and compliance in Nigeria, reduce the incidence of tax evasion, widen the tax net and raise tax revenues.
With this development, it now behooves affected companies (CMOs and publicly quoted/listed companies) to take immediate steps to:
• identify areas of their non-compliance with tax obligations,
• arrange remedial action within the time frame, and
• ensure their continued compliance with all their tax obligations.