Nigeria is set to collect taxes on profits made in the country by global technology and digital firms not based in the country, but with significant economic presence here.
This was the submission of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, while interacting with a delegation of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria led by its President, Adesina Adedayo, at the Presidential Villa .
Osinbajo noted that, 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 its tax net.
That includes imposing taxes on the Nigerian income of global tech giants with significant economic presence in the country, even if they have not established a physical office or permanent establishment and are currently not paying taxes in Nigeria.
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this on Sunday in a statement titled ‘How FG will tax profits made by global tech, digital giants in Nigeria, by Osinbajo.’
Osinbajo said, “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 which was also an attempt to bring more people into the tax net, including those who have foreign assets.
“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.”