FIRS asks taxpayers with foreign currency tax obligations to pay in naira

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it has offered a one-month concession for taxpayers with outstanding foreign currency tax debts to settle their financial obligations in naira.

Johannes Oluwatobi Wojuola, the FIRS President’s special assistant for media and communication, said so in a statement released on Monday.

According to Wojuola, Muhammad Nami, Executive Chairman of the FIRS, had signed and published a public notice on the concession and it will take effect from March 1 to March 31, 2022.

The FIRS said it has received requests and inquiries from taxpayers about difficulties in sourcing foreign currency to offset their unpaid tax debts.

“Given the number of requests, investigations and challenges faced by the taxpaying public in sourcing foreign currency to offset unpaid tax debts,” the notice reads.

“The Federal Revenue Service (“the Service”) would like to inform our valued taxpayers that a one-month window has now been opened for this class of taxpayers to settle their foreign currency tax debts in Naira effective March 1, 2022 to March 31, 2022.”

The FIRS explained that this concession was a single window, because the law states that the currency in which a taxpayer transacts is the currency in which the tax must be paid.

“The existing provision is that the currency of the transaction must be the currency with which the tax is paid,” he added.

“However, this is a one-time window/concession, and the Service would no longer entertain such a request from the tax-paying public.

“The applicable rate is the Investors and Exporters (I&E) Exchange Rate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in force on the date of the transaction and/or on the due date of the tax liability.

The notice also added that the window covers all such debts due on or before December 31, 2021, and all taxes except the Petroleum Profits Tax.

“This concession is available to all taxpayers, covers all types of taxes and all tax debts in foreign currencies maturing no later than December 31, 2021, with the exception of companies in the upstream sector (oil and gas) and oil profits tax,” he mentioned.

To qualify, the statement said taxpayers in the category must make all payments by March 31, 2022.

He further added that relevant documents relating to the transaction along with proof of payment should be forwarded to the office of the executive chairman, and a copy submitted to the local tax office where the taxpayer’s file is domiciled.

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