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.
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
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