By Sunday Efa
The Acting Chairman of Cross River State Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Okpanke Ogar, has decried the low compliance attitude of Cross Riverians to the Federal Government Tax Payers’ Amnesty Program.
Mr. Okpanke made his position known during his Keynote address at the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) Stakeholders meeting in Calabar organized by the Cross River State Internal Revenue Service.
He further revealed that the contribution of the State to Federation Account is far less than 0.01% adding that “In spite of efforts by Cross River State Internal Revenue Service to create awareness of this program, the service has observed that participation by members of the public is abysmally low, compared to results by other States across the Federation.”
Ogar disclosed that, “The scheme has recovered nearly 30 billion naira both from individuals and Corporate establishments. While the Federal Inland Revenue Service has collected about 90% of this figure, some other States have been responsible for 10%. Of this Cross River State contribution is far less than 0.01%, hence the need for this forum today.”
In the same vein, a goodwill message delivered by the State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Asuquo Ekpeyong salutes the prompt efforts of the State Internal Revenue Service for its prompt intervention.
He also reiterated that “the purpose of the scheme by the Federal Government is not to increase tax levy, but to however, share the tax burden.”
Recall that VAIDS was launched in July 2017 by the Federal Government of Nigeria, with the view to extending an olive branch to defaulting tax payers in Nigeria and diaspora.
It provided an opportunity for good citizenship under a new tax amnesty program that enables tax defaulters clear their outstanding tax liabilities for the previous six year accounting period.
Tax payers are expected under this program to declare their income and obtain Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC).
This tax amnesty initiative was initially for a nine month period ending in 31st of March, 2018, but was extended for another 3 months ending 30th of June, 2018.