The Nigerian government has reversed a directive requiring all bank account holders in the country to undertake a self-certification exercise by completing forms for due diligence and taxation purposes, barely 24 hours after it issued it.
“We apologize for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. The message contained in the @firsNigeria. Notice does not apply to everybody. FIRS will issue appropriate clarification shortly,” it said on Friday via its Twitter handle, @NigeriaGov.
On Thursday, government had asked account holders to fill in and submit bank certification forms on all the accounts they maintained, with customers categorised into individuals, entities and persons having controlling stake in a trustee, legal person among others.
Meanwhile, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, has released a statement to shed light on the action.
“This is to clarify the publication for financial institutions account holders in Nigeria to complete the self-certification form, pursuant to the Income Tax (Common Reporting Standard) Regulations 2019 which is for the fulfilment of Automatic Exchange of Information Requirements.
“The Self Certification form is basically to be administered on Reportable persons holding accounts in financial institutions that are regarded as “Reportable Financial Institutions” under the CRS. Reportable persons are often non-residents. And other persons who have a residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or Country,” the fiscal authority said.
It further stated financial institutions had a duty to administer the form on account holders if the customers’ profiles showed they were persons resident for tax purpose in more one jurisdiction.
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