The federal government has finally discovered the group of people who continuously refuse to pay tax.

They are small business owners, most of them running unregistered businesses.

They are known as prominent players in the informal sector and comprise mostly people at the bottom of the pyramid.

Also Read: Types of Taxes and Entities That Collect Them

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said this while fielding questions from the media at a campaign in Lagos on the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).

Asked whether proceeds from begging are taxable, she said: “There are so many tax evasions at the lower end, we will continue to sensitize.

“VAIDS is open to everybody, some beggars are earning millions, and we will look at their lifestyles.

“Lifestyle may not matter sometimes, proceeds from begging are taxable, beggars are supposed to pay tax even if their source of income is begging.

“Our non-formal sector is one of the hardest and that is where one of the biggest tax evasion occurs and that is what data is helping us to correct,” said Adeosun who noted that VAIDS is a credible platform put in place for defaulting Nigerian taxpayers to work out a flexible way to pay their outstanding tax liabilities.

Read More: REVEALED! 27 Industries Permitted Not To Pay Tax For 3 Years

According to her, “Nigeria’s tax to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio at just 6% is one of the lowest in the world, compared to India’s 16%, Ghana’s 15.9%, and South Africa’s 27%. Most developed nations have tax to GDP ratios of between 32% and 35%.”