Property owners in the UK rush to regularise tax records in Nigeria

With the recent implementation of UWOs regulation in the UK, Nigerians have been rushing to complete their VAIDS declaration forms.

Over the weekend, Nigerians who own property in the UK rushed to regularise their tax records in Nigeria to save the forfeiture of their property to the UK Government under the UK’s recently enacted Unexplained Wealth Order (UWOs) regulation.

This measure led to a collapse of hotline telephone numbers of government’s Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) in their desperate attempts. There were frantic requests from them asking for an extension of time to complete their VAIDS declaration forms.

The ministry is working hard to restore the crashed system to enable the VAIDS secretariat to carry on its function to taxpayers requiring advisory services on their tax obligations before March 31, 2018, amnesty programme of the Nigerian government.

The UK Government had last week introduced a new law that requires foreign owners of properties in the country to explain the source of their funds or risk forfeiting them to the government under the UWOs regime, ostensibly working in tandem with tax information sharing of Commonwealth countries of which Nigeria is a signatory.

According to the new law, the UWOs can be obtained for any property or combination of properties valued at just £50,000 (about N25 million) or more, for which the owner is unable to explain the legal source of funds.

The official noted that some of the apprehensive Nigerian property investors in the UK stormed the Federal Ministry of Finance last Friday without appointments, requesting to see the minister and also the head of the VAIDS office.

VAIDS allows Nigerian taxpayers to restate their income and assets without limit and thus could potentially allow those who own property that cannot be explained by their previously declared income to regularise by declaring and paying the correct taxes.

Source: Pulse. Ng