The 2018 fiscal year witnessed increased tax activism by the revenue authorities and the Ministry of Finance. These events clearly demonstrated the government’s intention to widen the tax net and raise additional revenue.
The high tax revenue drive in the year 2018 was evidenced by the extension of the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), the introduction of the Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularization Scheme (VOARS), the release of the revised Income Tax (Transfer Pricing) Regulations 2018 (the Regulations), amongst other major activities in the year.
As part of the Federal Inland Revenue Service’s (FIRS) collection efforts in the year, banks were appointed as agents for collection of tax from taxpayers that were considered to be in default of tax payments and their bank accounts were frozen for this purpose. These developments were mainly due to the dip in global oil prices and the revenue shortages, which encouraged the government to push towards diversification of the economy and improvement of Nigeria’s tax to Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) ratio.
This document seeks to review the key highlights for 2018 and comment on the expected developments in the Nigerian tax and fiscal space in 2019.