The Federal Government has apologised for its tweet ordering all account holders in the country to obtain and fill self-certification forms.
The FG had in a directive contained in a series of tweets (now deleted) on Thursday, asked each account holder to submit the filled forms in their respective financial institutions and threatened to block access to defaulters’ accounts or impose a monetary penalty.
The initial tweets read, “This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc) are required to obtain, complete and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions.
“Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions is required to complete & submit the form to each one of the institutions. The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019
“The self-certification form is in 3 categories: Form for Entity, for Controlling Person (Individuals having controlling interest in a legal person, trustee, etc), form for individual.
“Failure to comply with the requirement to administer or execute this form attracts sanctions which may include monetary penalty or inability to operate the account. For more enquiries, visit FIRS’ website.”
Nigerians reacted angrily to the directive prompting the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS to offer more clarifications about the directive.
The FIRS clarified that 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. 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 the 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 the account opening processes for the KYC and AML purpose”
However, in another tweet on Friday morning, the Federal Government acknowledged that its earlier tweets were misleading and the notice by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) does not apply to everybody.
“We apologise for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. The message contained in the @firsNigeria Notice does not apply to everybody. FIRS will issue appropriate clarification shortly,” it tweeted.
We apologize for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. The message contained in the @firsNigeria Notice does not apply to everybody. FIRS will issue appropriate clarification shortly pic.twitter.com/KBiPh0lCwJ
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) September 18, 2020