Gombe launches voluntary assets, income declaration scheme

Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe

The Gombe State Board of Internal Revenue in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service has launched the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme and other Tax Matters in Gombe. 

The scheme, which was formerly launched on June 29, by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, is aimed at creating awareness in tax payments among citizens, so as to generate more revenue for Nigeria. 

It will be recalled that Professor Osibanjo announced during the formal launch that every Thursday, from July 1, 2017 to March, 2018, was to be set aside for Tax Thursday and since then the tax authorities of all levels, as directed, have been carrying out campaigns to inculcate taxation and tax payment culture among Nigerians. 

Based on that directive, the Gombe State Board of Internal Revenue and the Federal Inland Revenue Service went round markets, motor parks and business communities within the Gombe Metropolis, to create and increase awareness among Gombe people on the need for taxation.

During the campaigns in all the business communities visited, both the Gombe State Board of Internal Revenue and the Federal Inland Revenue Service enlightened the people on the advantages and opportunities that were available in the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme.

According to the Chairman of the Gombe State Board of Internal Revenue, Alhaji Muhammad Adamu Damji, forgiveness of payment of interests and penalties meant shielding or immunity from facing criminal charges.

“It is a scheme that encourages taxpayers to pay to voluntarily come and declare their assets and income and pay the necessary taxes. Because if you look at what is happening, especially in Nigeria, a lot of people have a lot of assets and they are earning a lot of income, which they have refused to declare. But this window will enable them to come out and declare their assets and then pay the necessary taxes that are due to the three tiers of government. Anybody who takes advantage of this window will not be prosecuted for tax evasion or avoidance. Not only that, you will be given the opportunity to pay whatever taxes that are due to government in instalment,” Alhaji Damji said. 

Both the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Gombe State Board of Internal Revenue say the launch of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme was a magnanimous offer of opportunity that all stakeholders and patriotic Nigerians should benefit from.

The Chairman of the Gombe of Internal Revenue, Alhaji Damdi said the launch of the awareness campaigns would be stepped down to the 11 local government areas on the need to register taxable individuals and entities, pass information on tax matters.

“Awareness campaign activities, which should include among other things, increase tax awareness among the public, inculcate taxation and tax payment culture among citizens of Nigeria, sensitize taxpayers and the public on tax obligations as civic responsibilities, registering taxable individuals and entities, passing information on tax matters, such as relevant dates of filling returns of various tax types, taxpayer obligations and rights, consequences of violating tax laws, organizing seminars, lectures, symposium etc, visiting public places, such as markets, shopping malls, moto parks, commercial centres, organizing street march/road shows and organizing interactive sessions with various categories of  taxpayers and relevant stakeholders,” Alhaji Damji said.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Gombe State Board Internal Revenue are therefore urging taxpayers to take a step forward and declare their assets and income, as well as pay their taxes appropriately, so as to enjoy the full benefits of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme and other Tax Matters in Gombe. 

Nnenna.O