The federal government has set plans in motion 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 scheme (VAIDS).
The federal ministry of finance in conjunction with other finance houses such as, Nigeria Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU), bureau de change (BDCs), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), are 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.
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 forfeiture of such assets”.
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