FG to Deploy Technology to Enforce Common Reporting Standard

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Nume Ekeghe

In line with the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) on the common reporting standards (CRS) that was signed by the federal government, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has said it will set up technology to ensure its implementation.

Implementing the CRS will allow the federal government to automatically receive information on the bank accounts held in other countries by Nigerian tax payers.

Speaking at the KPMG Tax breakfast meeting in Lagos yesterday, the Head, International Tax Department, FIRS, Mr. Mathew Gbonjubola, said the plan would entail using technology to beat multinationals who try to avoid or reduce their taxes.

Gbonjubola said: “On automatic exchange of information, Nigeria signed the bilateral convention on the CRS and the regulations that would drive that is already in draft.

“The guidelines are also in draft and we are already putting together the ICT structure that would help us to administer the automated exchange of information.

“Because the automated exchange of information is unlike the information on request, it is driven by technology.”

He added: “We are advancing on this development and very soon, we should be coming out with regulations and then we should certify to start to exchange information automatically.

“We are now for the first time also going to be drafting and implementing a tax treaty policy. This is going to drive our tax treaty network; who we are going to negotiate treaty with and who we are going to discontinue treaty with.”

Also, the Partner and Head Transfer Pricing and Consumer and Industrial Markets Tax, Mr. Tayo Ogungbenro said the transfer pricing (TP) environment was constantly changing in terms of both risk and opportunities.

He said:“Given the increasing call for more transparency, multinationals are left facing more complexity than ever before.”

“Multinationals need to ensure that they stay up-to-date with the latest TP developments and best practices. In doing so, they can optimise the opportunities, global effective tax rates and ensure they remain compliant with changing guidelines and regulations, while at the same time minimising the risks associated with TP audits.”