August 12 2021

Government Launches United Kingdom Declaration Facilities for Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularization Scheme

Source: IBFD Tax Research Platform News

The Federal Government of Nigeria has opened United Kingdom declaration facilities based in London for the Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularization Scheme (VOARS). This is the third facility after the Nigeria (based in Abuja) and Dubai facilities. Under the VOARS, pursuant to the Presidential Executive Order 008 2018 Amendment 2019, relevant persons or their intermediaries can regularize their residual (offshore) assets located anywhere in the world by the payment of a one-time levy. All proceeds from the VOARS are to be invested in infrastructure development through Nigeria Essential Infrastructure Fund (NEIF).

Relevant persons or their intermediaries (upon presentation of a valid power of attorney) may make declarations through any of the three facilities in Abuja, Dubai or London. Upon such declaration, the declarant will benefit from the government's permanent waiver of prosecution for offences related to the offshore assets voluntarily declared under Special Clearances and Non-Prosecution Agreements.

According to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, the declaration will also offer banks, asset managers, trusts and other intermediaries the opportunity to clean their books whilst regularizing undeclared assets under their custody. The Minister of Finance noted that in addition to the numerous benefits of the scheme, declarants and their custodian banks can also invest parts of the regularized assets and earn high returns whilst investing in the country's infrastructure development.