The Nigerian government in its bid to enlarge tax revenue plans to start billing beggars.
The Minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun said some beggars were earning millions and that “proceeds from begging are taxable. You are supposed to pay taxes even if your means of income is begging”.
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun said this in Lagos at a lecture at PWC’s Business School, with the theme: ‘Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) Interactive Session for Executives and Business Owners.’
She said to ascertain the income status of the companies/individuals and their lifestyle, investigators would rely on information derived from Bank Verification Number (BVN), records of property ownership, records of foreign exchange allocation, and records of company ownership from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), among others.
Adeosun said: “We are using some firms to trace assets internationally.The investigators’ findings will enable us to compare the income and how much tax the company/person is really paying, and that gives us lots of information.
“But we encourage people to come up and pay their taxes willingly. You can register a high-end car. It tells me something about your income.
“So, we look at your tax returns. If you registered Mercedes E-Class and you are paying N100,000 tax, then something is wrong. Those are red flags. We now have the capacity to assess people accurately.
“We are trying to build an economy where we have oil and other things. It is going to be oil plus and wider economy”.