The Federal Government of Nigeria and some foreign countries, including the United Kingdom, have commenced the Automatic Exchange of Tax Information (AETI), particularly on overseas assets held by Nigerians.
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, confirmed this on Friday in Abuja during the presentation of Progress Report on Tax Laws Reform by the Vice Chairman of the National Tax Policy Implementation Committee, Taiwo Oyedele.
Mrs Adeosun expressed satisfaction with the data being supplied to Nigeria by foreign countries under the AETI, to which the country became a party in January 2018.
“The data received in Nigeria with regard to overseas assets held by Nigerians has been impressive and will underpin a long-term improvement in the nation’s tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ration, in turn, will improve life for the masses.
The data on bank accounts, property and trusts, which has come automatically from a number of countries is being used to support the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) by allowing the tax authorities to check the accuracy of declarations received.
“The Federal Government is also using the data to generate ‘nudge’ letters which are being sent to those identified as being potential tax defaulters,” said Adeosun while responding to questions raised by journalists during the submission of progress report on tax laws reform.
She disclosed that Nigeria had written to a number of nations to request specific information about offshore trusts and bank accounts held by its citizens.
The minister advised users of offshore structures to take advantage of VAIDS to regularise their taxes before the expiry of the amnesty programme.