The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has given all shipping liners a December 2023 deadline to reconcile their books or face the wrath of the laws of the land.
Specifically, FIRS ordered foreign shipping firms operating from outside the country to comply strictly with the laws of the land.
FIRS Chairman, Zacch Adedej who gave the directive at a workshop held in Lagos said the revenue service was making efforts to ensure strict compliance with the country’s tax laws by the shipping lines.
The workshop was on taxation of non-resident shipping companies organised by FIRS in conjunction with the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) on Monday.
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Dare Adekanmbi, Special Adviser on Media to the FIRS Chair, Adedeji, in a statement said the tax compliance exercise initiated by FIRS on the activities of foreign shipping companies lifting hydrocarbons from Nigeria was not intended to disrupt their operations, but rather a measure to widen the tax net to grow revenue for the government.
According to him, the directive was backed by Section 14 of the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA) 2004 (as amended), which mandated foreign companies engaging in shipping and air transport operations in Nigeria to file tax returns to continue to carry out their businesses within the country.
The FIRS boss explained that his intervention upon assumption of duty had earlier led to the six-month grace period given to international shipping companies to regularise their tax returns, emphasising that they have up to December 31 this year to reconcile their books with FIRS.
“I am sure all the international shipping companies that we contacted are aware of the importance of complying with tax laws in the various jurisdictions they operate.
“Therefore, I urge the international shipping companies that are not complying with Nigerian tax laws to begin to do so immediately,” he said.