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FIRS seeks to collaborate with African countries, international firms to effectively tax tech companies

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Muhammad Nami

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has called for collaboration among African countries and international stakeholders to explore alternative rules that would “subject digital businesses and base eroding tax payments.”

This is according to Muhammad Nami, Executive Chairman of FIRS, who made the disclosure at the African Tax Administrators’ Forum (ATAF) Technical Assistance Program.

He explained that the potential cost of managing and enforcing the complicated rules will significantly outweigh the expected money generated by their implementation.

What they are saying

He said, “Our analysis continues to show that the possible cost of administering and implementing the complex rules will far outweigh the expected revenue accruing from its implementation. I, therefore, urge the African Tax Administrators Forum (ATAF) to join the discussion at the UN Tax Committee of Experts, South Centre.”

FIRS aims to expand on other international standards for the taxation of multinational corporations, such as tax treaties, information exchange, and transfer pricing rules.

The forum should also collaborate with all other well-meaning stakeholders to explore alternative rules that will enable African countries to effectively subject the digital businesses and base eroding payments to tax in our jurisdictions. These collaborations should extend to other rules developed and implemented at the international level for the taxation of multi-national enterprises, such as the tax treaty, exchange of information and transfer pricing rules,” he added.

The FIRS chairman emphasised the importance of members’ capacity building in the areas of base erosion and profit shifting by multinational firms, as well as taxation of the digital economy.

He said, “This is instructive, considering the implementation challenges that developing jurisdictions will face due to the complexity of the Pillars I and II rules. It is crucial for the ATAF technical assistance to look toward improving the capacity of member-countries’ tax administration through the digitisation of operations.”

Nami urged ATAF to organise peer-to-peer knowledge sharing sessions between beneficiaries of the technical assistance programmes and intensify technical assistance on international tax rules, particularly in the areas of tax treaties, transfer pricing and exchange of information.

In case you missed it

  • FIRS had asked all companies that received capital allowances on Qualifying Capital Expenditure (QCE) of N500,000 or more between the years of assessment 2016 and 2021 to submit the Certificate(s) of Acceptance issued by the Federal Ministry of Industries, Trade and Investment’s Industrial Inspectorate Division.
  • Companies who received capital allowances on QCE of N500,000.00 or more between 2016 and 2021 years of assessment by October 31st will be affected, according to the announcement. In addition, the organization warned that customers who do not comply could lose their allotment.