FG Apologizes, Says Self-Certification Directive Is Not For Everyone

September 18, 2020
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The Nigerian government has backtracked on its earlier issued guidelines on the new banking Self-Certification Forms, saying the notice does not apply to everyone.

On Thursday, the Nigerian government ordered all persons holding accounts across financial institutions and insurance firms, to complete and submit self-certification forms to their respective financial institutions.

It stated, “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 are 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.”

However, on Friday morning, after receiving expected backlash on social media, FG attempted a clarification stating, “We apologize for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons,” and that, “the FIRS will clarify Nigerians on the objectives of the directive.”

The FIRS earlier today made a statement, that the guidelines are only for non-residents, and people paying tax in more than one country.

“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.”

“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.

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