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SEC to sanction companies, capital market operations over tax default

By Jide Ajia

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a note of warning to all companies listed on the main-board of Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and other stock market operators to adhere strictly to the latest regulation on tax compliance or face the full wrath of law if turned a deaf ear.

SEC, the apex regulatory body to all capital market operations in a statement made available to The Guild on Tuesday, stated that warning to the effect was informed by the executive order given by the Federal Government for all to comply with the new rule of Taxpayers on Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) or face penalty.

The Head of Corporate Communications and External Affairs, SEC, Naif Abdussalam, in the statement said to this end, the SEC was encouraging all taxpayers in the capital market to include Capital Market Operators (CMOs) and Public Limited Companies (PLCs) to comply with the new executive order ‘No. 004 on VAIDS’ before the expiration of the 9 month grace period as specified by the federal government.

It should be recalled that the executive order on VAID was signed by the Acting President Osinbajo on June 29, and it stated that, taxpayers who were under all relevant federal and state tax laws were advised to regularize their tax status by honestly declaring their assets and incomes from sources within and outside Nigeria.

Furthermore, the SEC wishes to state that commencing from March 31, 2018, all CMO’s and PLC’s shall be required to show evidence of compliance with VAIDS or a clean tax status as part of their mandatory submissions to the Commission and failure to comply with the public notice shall result in appropriate sanctions in accordance with the provision of law.

However, the decree of limitations for a tax investigation for honest returns was limited to six (6) years; there was no limit where a fraudulent return has been submitted for assessment.

“In a nutshell, all CMO’s and PLC’s are hereby duly advised to comply with the Executive Order by taking advantage of the nine (9) months grace period to rectify their tax status in complying with the order”, SEC statement stressed.


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