Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Why Nigeria didn’t sign OECD Minimum Corporate Tax Agreement — FIRS

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, has given reasons why Nigeria did not sign the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) G20 Inclusive Framework two-pillar solution to tax challenges of the digitized economy.

The OECD G20 Inclusive Framework two-pillar solution proposes a framework of rules aimed at tackling base erosion and profit shifting and providing for the taxation of Multinational Enterprises (MNEs).

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Four member countries of the Inclusive Framework (Nigeria inclusive), out of 140, haven’t agreed to the Two-Pillar solution.

Nigeria’s reasons for not agreeing to the Two-Pillar solution was explained in a webinar session hosted by the FIRS last week.

Mr M. L. Abubakar, the Executive Chairman of the FIRS, represented by the Group Lead, Executive Chairman’s Group, noted that taxation of the digital economy had become a topical issue that many economies and developmental blocs are working to solve, including the OECD and the United Nations Tax Committee who have commissioned projects to produce a common front for countries to adopt.

The Special Assistant (Media & Communication) to the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Johannes Oluwatobi Wojuola, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

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He said, “Nigeria has been involved in various work-streams under the OECD project and has articulated its position on the technical work towards the goal of producing a common front for countries.

However, our concerns on potential negative revenue returns that the rule designs would have for developing countries were unaddressed. Nigeria abstained from committing to the rules at this time,” he said.

He said the Webinar was to educate the general public on the modalities and impact of the statement released by the OECD Inclusive Framework on October 8th 2021 and to provide a broad picture of why Nigeria abstained from signing.

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The Webinar, which was a special edition of the FIRS Taxpayer Engagement Series, was hosted by the Technical Assistant (Tax Policy) to the Executive Chairman FIRS, while technical papers were delivered by Mr. Mathew Gbonjubola, Mr. Temitayo Orebajo, Mr. Kehinde Kajesomo, Mr, Emmanuel Eze and Ms. Aisha Isa, all staff of the FIRS.

Explaining in detail, Mr. Mathew Gbonjubola, the Group Lead Special Tax Operations Group, and Nigeria’s representative at the OECD Inclusive Framework, highlighted that despite the expected outcome that both Pillars will increase Global Corporate Income Tax by as much as $150 Billion per annum, with an attendant favourable environment for investment and economic growth, there were serious concerns that the pillars didn’t address negative revenue outcome for Nigeria and other developing countries.

“The general issue that developing countries have with the outcome that was published on October 8th is the high cost of implementation. And that speaks to the complexities of the proposal in the inclusive framework statement. In every complex situation or rule, implementation and compliance will always be difficult. When implementation or compliance is difficult, there would be a high cost of implementation.

“Another issue was that the economic impact assessment that was carried out on Pillar 1 and 2 were founded on an unreliable premise. The country-specific impact assessment that was done was top-down. Somebody just looked at the GDP of Nigeria and said Nigeria’s GDP is this much and then they should be able to buy this number of shoes and things like that. And you and I know, in that kind of postulation, the margin of error is usually very wide. That’s exactly was what happened with this. Particularly for Nigeria, when we ran the numbers, it was way off the figures that the OECD gave us”.

“And the final issue most developing countries had was that the developed world, within the inclusive framework, was very indifferent to the concerns expressed by most developing countries. This you can see from the outcome, with respect to the complexity, issues of the high cost of implementation and on the issue of revenue accruable to developing countries. When you look at the bulk of the money that would accrue from the project, if any, 70% – 80% will go to the developed countries. Almost nothing comes to the developing countries.”

Why Nigeria didn’t sign OECD Minimum Corporate Tax Agreement — FIRS


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