FIRS explains why Nigeria did not endorse the OECD minimum corporate tax agreement

The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, says Nigeria did not endorse the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

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FIRS explains why Nigeria did not endorse the OECD minimum corporate tax agreement


The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, says Nigeria did not endorse the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, 620 Inclusive Framework two-pillar solution to the taxation of the digital economy, to ensure the country does not lose out on potential revenue from the digital economy.


Fresh Angle International can report that this much was explained in a statement issued to the press Monday May 23, by the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS Muhammad Nami.


While stating that the agreement is unfair to Nigeria and the developing countries in general, Muhammad Nami, stated that the country having reviewed the conditions of the agreement had concerns over the impact that the signing of the agreement would have on the country's tax system and tax revenue generation.


"There are serious concerns on how the rules would compound the issues in our tax system. For instance, to be able to tax any digital sale or any multinational enterprise (MNE) that company or enterprise must have an annual global turnover of €20 billion and a global profitability of 10% That is a concern. This is because most MNEs that operate in our country do not meet such criteria and we would not be able to tax them.


“Secondly, the 20 billion global annual turnover in question is not just for one accounting your, but it is that the enterprise must make €20 billion revenue and 10% profitability in average for four consecutive yours otherwise that enterprise will never pay tax in our country, but in the country where the enterprise comes from or its country of residence, the statement reads.


“Thirdly, for Nigeria to subject a Multinational Enterprise to tax under the rule, the entity must have generated at least €1 million turnover from Nigeria within a year”.


According to Mr. Nami, this is an unfair position, especially to domestic companies which, with a minimum of above N25 million (that is about €57.000) turnover, are subject to companies’ income tax in Nigeria. 


He added that the rule will take-off so many Multinational Enterprise from the scope of those that are currently paying taxes to Nigeria. in other words, even the MNEs that are currently paying taxes in Nigeria, “would cease to pay taxes to us because of this rule”.


On the sue of dispute resolutions under the Two-Pilar Solution, the FIRS Executive Chairman, explained that the rules were such that in the event of a dispute between Nigeria and a Multinational Enterprise, Nigeria would be subject to an International arbitration panel as against Nigeria's own justice system


"It would be subject to international arbitration and not Nigeria's judicial system and laws -even where the income is directly related to a Nigerian member of an MhE group, which is ordinarily subject to tax in Nigeria on its worldwide income and subject to the laws of Nigeria. We are concerned about getting a tax deal from such process. More so, such a dispute resolution process with a Multinational Enterprise, in an International arbitration panel outside the country, would lead to heavy expenses on legal services, traveling and other incidental costs.


"Nigeria would spend more; even beyond the tax yield from such cases”, the statement noted.


On the issue of Nigeria loosing significant revenue if it fails to sign into the OECD inclusive Framework rules for the taxation of the digital economy, the FIRS Executive Chairman, stated that this was not a problem as the country had already put forward four ongoing solutions to the challenge of taxation of the digital economy.


"One, we have made it a point of practice to annually amend our tax laws to reflect the current global realities, it was courtesy of these reviews that we developed the significant Economic Presence (SEP) rule, through the Finance Act of 2019 and 2020. The SEP rules set threshold for Multinational Enterprises, without physical presence in Nigeria, for registration and payment of takes to the country


“Two: we have deployed technology in order for us to bring digital transactions to the tax net. Coupled with the Significant Economic Presence rule, we have started seeing the impact of the technology we have deployed, companies like Twitter, Facebook, Nettto, Linkedin, among others, who have no physical presence in Nigeria and that were hitherto not paying taxes have now registered for tax purposes and are paying taxes accordingly. A positive to this is that we surpassed our target in the year 2021, despite the challenges posed to the global economy, including our own economy by the Could-10 pandemic.


“The third initiative is the Data-4-Tax initiative, a block-chain technology which FIRS is jointly developing with the Internal Revenue Service of the 36 states and that of the FCT, under the auspices of the Joint Tax Board. With this project we are confident that we are going to have a seamless view and access to all economic activities of individuals and corporate bodies in Nigeria going forward, including money spent on digital commerce.


“The fourth is that we have set up a specialized office, the Non-Resident Persons Tax Office to manage the taxation of non-resident persons and cross-border transactions, including all tax treaty operational issues and income derived from Nigeria by non-resident individuals and companies," the statement further explained.




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