Only 214 Nigerians pay taxes of N20m or more each year - Yemi Osinbajo

Acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, stated at the launch of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme that 914 Nigerians pay between N10m and N20m tax yearly and that of the 914 persons, 912 of them are residents of Lagos state while the remaining two reside in Ogun State. The launch took place yesterday in Abuja yesterday June 29th.

 He further said statistics from the Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS, shows that out of the active population of 70 million people in Nigeria, only 14 million of them are taxpayers.

According to Osinbajo,  The vice president said that this is considerably low considering the fact that Nigeria boast of very wealthy persons with choice properties within and outside the country.

According to him, it is only those who work in very formal offices that mostly pay their tax.
“Those who earn salaries that are known in a formal setting are those we know that pay taxes. Outside of that group of people, there are many high net worth individuals, self-employed persons and some companies that are able to evade full tax payment due to the limited knowledge of the tax authorities to assess their true income. According to the FIRS, the total number of taxpayers in Nigeria is just 14 million; of this number, 96 per cent of them have their taxes deducted at source from their salaries under the Pay-As-You-Earn system, while just four per cent are under direct assessment. So, the vast majority of Nigerians do not pay taxes.
This is at variance with our economy where almost 70 million Nigerians are economically active. The statistic of those paying taxes are quite alarming. Despite having some of Africa’s wealthy people, whose lifestyles are the subject of global admiration, only 214 Nigerian pay taxes of N20m or more each year. A personal tax of N20m implies that the person is earning personal income of N80m a year. That group of 214 excludes many names who can pay well over N20m"he said
Osinbajo announced the grace of the next nine months for tax evaders to go and regularize their payments with the appropriate authorities, failure to do so could earn them criminal prosecution. He added that the Federal government is currently carrying out a secret investigation into the earnings of some highly placed Nigerians and the tax they pay to government.


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