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FIRS Clarifies Persons For ‘Self-Certification Form’ Completion In Banks, Others

Barely few hours after apologizing to Nigerians on its Thursday’s directive requiring all account holders in financial institutions to complete a new ‘self-certification’ form, the Federal Government today said that the Notice was not meant for all financial institution persons and assured that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) would make further clarifications on the directive.

The government had, through its verified handle, @NigeriaGov, Thursday directed all account holders in financial institutions, including banks and insurance companies to obtain, complete and submit the forms to enable financial institutions in Nigeria carry out due diligence in line with extant tax regulations.

As assured by the government, the FIRS in a clarification through its verified twitter handle, @firsNigeria, stated that the requirement was neither for all Nigerians nor for all account holders.

Specifically, the revenue agency maintained that the form was required to be completed by customers of financial institutions who maintain accounts in countries and tax jurisdictions outside Nigeria, for tax and anti-money laundering monitoring purposes.

It tweeted: “This is to clarify that 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 (Common Reporting Standard).

“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,” the FIRS stressed.

It would be recalled that the FIRS had earlier communicated taxpayers regarding the commencement of exchange of information with other countries.

In a Notice to the effect, the agency stated: “We are delighted to inform you that the AEOI-CRS (Automatic Exchange of Information – Common Reporting Standards) System Portal has gone live.

“All Reporting Financial Institutions are expected to file reports on or before 30th September 2020. The designated official of each Financial Institution is required to enrol on the AEOI-CRS System Portal, as a primary user, to enable the Financial Institution, file its CRS reports.

“To enrol as a Primary user and have access to related AEOI-CRS documents, “please visit the FIRS website and navigate the menu tab on Automatic Exchange of Information”, it added.

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