FG to raise taxes from foreign tech companies operating in Nigeria – Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stated that the Federal Government plans to widen its tax bracket by collecting taxes from foreign tech companies with operations in Nigeria, which include the likes of Facebook, Google, and many others.

The Vice President disclosed this over the weekend at a meeting with the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) President, Mr Adesina Adedayo, at the Presidential Villa.

What the Vice President 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 includes collecting taxes on the Nigerian income of global tech giants with significant economic presence here, even if they have not established an office or permanent establishment, and are currently not paying taxes in Nigeria.

In this regard, Section 4 of the Finance Act 2019, provides that the Finance Minister, may by order of the President, determine what constitutes the significant economic presence of a company, other than a Nigerian company.

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,” Osinbajo said.

The Vice President added that many global internet companies did incredible volumes in revenue in Nigeria and in several other regions.

“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,” he added.

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What you should know

  • Recall Nairametrics reported earlier this month that the Federal Government had hinted at licensing operations of social media and OTT internet companies in Nigeria.
  • “The Federal Government has also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria,” Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said.

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