Citizen is a column that explains how the government’s policies fucks citizens and how we can unfuck ourselves.
In case, you slept yesterday afternoon and suddenly woke up this morning, well, good morning. But a lot has happened.
The Federal Government directed that all Nigerians should go to all the banks they have an account in and fill something called a “Self Certification Form”. They say the BVN, National ID, Voter’s Card, Drivers Licence, National Passport and all the other data we have in this country is not enough to help them find what they are looking for.
In case you are still confused, we wrote about it in a series of articles.
The Real Purpose of the Self-Certification Form
Taiwo Oyedele, a foremost tax expert has revealed on Twitter that this form is for the exchange of tax information between Nigeria and other countries. Financial institutions would know the tax residency of customers and be able to share the information with other countries.
In other words, the government (through banks) wants to know the countries you live and where you should be paying different taxes to.
He also stated that for companies, the government would know who has the controlling interest in a business, commonly known as “beneficial ownership.”
1. It is a self-enforcement tax issue, not an identification issue.
2. Tax residency is for 0.00001% of the population.
The Thing About Tax Residency
For tax purposes, a resident of a country is any person that is subject to tax under the domestic laws of that country by reason of residence, place of incorporation, or any other criteria.
Because different countries have different ideas on what it means to be a resident, countries generally enter into agreements (or treaties) with one another, so that a person living in say, the US, might still be paying Nigeria’s income taxes.
It is this exchange of information that Nigeria has entered into with other countries. And that is why this new tax information is needed, so that the government can trace them.