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Nigeria files tax evasion charges against Binance

By Dennis Erezi
25 March 2024   |   8:24 am
The Nigerian Government has initiated criminal proceedings for tax evasion against global cryptocurrency exchange platofrm Binance. The charges, filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, were announced on Monday by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). The lawsuit implicates Binance with a four-count tax evasion accusation. READ ALSO: Binance executive arrested in Nigeria escapes…

Binance (Danny Nelson/CoinDesk)

The Nigerian Government has initiated criminal proceedings for tax evasion against global cryptocurrency exchange platofrm Binance.

The charges, filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, were announced on Monday by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The lawsuit implicates Binance with a four-count tax evasion accusation.

READ ALSO: Binance executive arrested in Nigeria escapes custody

Joined with the crypto company as second and third defendants in the suit are Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, both senior executives of Binance currently under the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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The Guardian on Monday reported that Anjarwalla escaped custody where he and his were detained by the Nigerian government.

The charges levied against Binance include non-payment of Value-Added Tax (VAT), Company Income Tax, failure to file tax returns, and complicity in aiding customers to evade taxes through its platform.

In the suit, the Federal Government also accused Binance of failure to register with FIRS for tax purposes and contravening existing tax regulations within the country.

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One of the counts in the lawsuit pertains to Binance’s alleged failure to collect and remit various categories of taxes to the federation as stipulated by Section 40 of the FIRS Establishment Act 2007 as amended.

Section 40 of the Act explicitly addresses the non-deduction and non-remittance of taxes, prescribing penalties and potential imprisonment for defaulting entities.

The charges further detail specific instances where Binance purportedly violated tax laws, such as failing to issue invoices for VAT purposes, thus obstructing the determination and payment of taxes by subscribers.

“Any company that transacts business in excess of N25 million annually is deemed by the Finance Act to be present in Nigeria,” media aide to FIRS chairman Dare Adekanmbi said in a statement.

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“According to this rule, Binance falls into that category. So, it has to pay taxes like Company Income Tax (CIT) and also collect and pay Value Added Tax (VAT).

“But Binance did not do this properly. So, the company broke Nigerian laws and could be investigated and taken to court for this infraction.

“The Federal Government remains resolute in its commitment to ensuring compliance with tax regulations and combating financial impropriety within the cryptocurrency sector.

“FIRS, by the law setting it up and various others, is empowered to assess, collect and account for revenue accruing to the Federation and administer relevant tax laws.”

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