Posted By: | December 08, 2020 |

RE: Widening The Tax Net Is Osinbajo’s Executive Order Correct?

My learned senior colleague and ThisDay Lawyer’s ‘Insight’ columnist, Abubakar D. Sani’s, 8th August 2017 piece, “Widening the Tax Net: Is Osinbajo’s Executive Order Correct?” was an interesting read. Mr. Sani doubted the constitutional validity of the Executive Order (EO) No. 004 of 2017 on Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) signed by the Acting President on 30th June 2017. VAIDS provides a window for tax defaulters to, between 1 July 2017 and 31 March 2018, regularize their tax status by voluntarily declaring their income and assets for the preceding six years’ of assessment. Such would confer benefits such as waivers of penalties and interest and immunity from tax audit and prosecution for tax offences. Mr. Sani argues that VAIDS derogates from the National Assembly (NA)’s exclusive power of regulating tax collection by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and State Boards of Internal Revenue (SBIRs) pursuant to section 4(3), Items 59 and 7 of the Exclusive and Concurrent Lists of the 1999 Constitution (1999 Constitution). This rejoinder seeks to clarify some grey areas and affirm the constitutionality of VAIDS and its enabling EO.


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