Self-Certification Forms: FIRS makes clarifications on affected persons and accounts

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has reacted to condemnations trailing the federal government’s order on Self-Certification Forms.

The government directed all account holders in banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions to obtain, complete and submit the forms.

Nigerians are outraged, wondering why authorities are dragging them into another round of verification.

They are demanding that the government reverse the order and use details on existing forms of IDs like the Bank Verification Number (BVN) and National Identity Number.
On Friday, FIRS issued a clarification on Twitter.

The agency said the form is pursuant to the Income Tax (Common Reporting Standard) Regulations 2019 and in fulfillment of Automatic Exchange of Information Requirements.

FIRS explained that it would be administered on reportable persons holding accounts in financial institutions regarded as “Reportable Financial Institutions” under the CRS.

It said 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 and AML purpose”, the statement read.

Background:
The President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, on Thursday, had directed all account holders in all financial institutions to obtain, complete and submit Self–Certification Forms.

This includes banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions.

This information was shared via the verified Twitter account of the Government of Nigeria, explaining that the forms are required by the relevant financial
institutions to do due diligence procedures in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.
Failure to adhere to this instruction the Government said will attract sanctions which may include monetary penalty or inability to operate the account.

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