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FIRS Clarifies Statement After Outrage Over Self-Certification Forms

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FIRS DG, Muhammad Nami

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has clarified a series of tweets on the Nigerian government’s official Twitter handle which required customers of financial institutions to submit self-certifications forms to operate their accounts with those institutions.

The clarification came hours after the tweets sparked outrage on social media.

The controversial tweets read in part, “This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc) are required to obtain, complete and submit Self-Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions.

“Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions is required to complete and submit the form to each one of the institutions.

“The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.”

However, the FIRS clarified that the directive was primarily for non-residents of Nigeria and other persons who have residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or country.

The clarification read, “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 residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or country.

“Financial Institutions are expected to administer the Self Certification form on such account holders when information at its disposal indicates that the Account holder is a person resident for tax purpose in more than one jurisdiction.

“The information that indicates an account holder is a resident for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction,is expected to be available to Financial Institutions during account opening processes for the KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) purpose.

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