We’ll tax profits made by global giants in Nigeria, Osinbajo
The Federal Government is set to utilise legal provisions empowering it to collect taxes on profits made by global technology and digital firms not based in Nigeria, but having significant economic presence in the country.
It said while the Federal Government will not be raising tax rates at this time, based on the Finance Act 2019, it is already empowered to widen the tax net.
This, the FG said, includes taxes on the Nigerian income of global giants with significant economic presence, even if they have not set up presence or permanent establishment and are currently not paying taxes in the country.
In this regard, Section 4 of the Finance Act 2019 provides that “the Minister (Finance) may by order (of the President) determine what constitutes the significant economic presence of a company other than a Nigerian company.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo hinted on the issues while interacting with a delegation of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), led by its President, Mr. Adesina Adedayo, who visited the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday.
According to Osinbajo, “We have had severe economic downturns which, of course, implies that we may not be able to collect taxes with the aggressiveness that would ordinarily be expected.
“I think the most important thing is that we must widen our tax net so that more people who are eligible to pay tax are paying. Several efforts have been made, and I am sure you are aware of the initiatives including the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) which was also an attempt to bring more people into the tax net, including those who have foreign assets.”
He said further: “We have also recently taken a step with respect to a lot of the technology companies that are not represented here but who do huge volumes of business here.
“The Finance Act has shown that we are very prepared to ensure that these big technology companies do not escape without paying their fair share of taxation in Nigeria. Many of them do incredible volumes here in Nigeria and in several other parts of the region.
“We have drawn up the regulations and we are prepared to go, and I think that we are at least in a good place to tap into some of the tax resources we can get from some of these companies.”
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