Nigeria considers taxing tech giants Facebook, Netflix, WhatsApp, others

* Tech firms need to declare revenue generated from consumers and pay taxes ─Minister

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Sequel to series of discussions and suspected policy somersaults over the propriety or otherwise of the introduction of telecom tax and related tariffs in the economy, the Nigerian Government is planning to tax foreign digital service providers offering services and earning revenue in local currency in the nation’s economy.

Some of the service providers, which include video streaming sites, Social Media platforms, and companies that provide downloads of digital content, are expected to pay digital tax to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), according to The Punch.

Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Honourable Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, has issued a Companies Income Tax Significant Economic Presence (SEP) order that will require over-the-top (OTT) services providers such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Blackberry Messenger, and several others, to declare the revenue they generate from Nigerian consumers and to pay taxes on them.

Report further said that others, such as Alibaba and Amazon, generate revenue from Nigeria by processing and transmitting data collected about users in the country, provision of goods or services directly or through a digital platform or offer intermediate services that link suppliers and consumers in Nigeria.

The new regulation would apply to companies with revenues of N25 million per year, or equivalent in other currencies from the economy, and those with a Nigerian domain name (.ng) or a Web site address in the country.

However, payments made to employees of a foreign entity or for teaching in an educational institution are exempted, stated the report.

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