Intl. shipowners get five months’ ultimatum to pay tax in Nigeria

Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, has issued a five-month ultimatum to international shipping lines in Nigeria to comply with the tax obligations imposed by extant tax laws.

Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, in a statement on Monday said The Service observed that many international shipping lines have not complied with the tax obligations despite notices issued by the Service.

Nami has given the international shipowners till 31st December, 2023 to comply with FIRS law failure of which enforcement action will be taken.

He said: ”This notice is published further to the FIRS’ circular No. 2021/14 dated 3rd June, 2021 on the ‘’taxation of international shipping and air lines’’ and public notice of 17th December, 2021 on the ‘’tax compliance of international shipping lines’’.

”The circular provides the basis of taxation of international shipping lines in Nigeria and the public notice requested all international shipping lines to regularise their tax affairs with the Federal Inland Revenue Service within three months of the date of that publication.

”Consequently, the Service hereby requests all international shipping companies operating in Nigerian territorial waters in whatever capacity (containerised, bulk cargo, fishing trawlers, crude oil or natural gas lifting vessels, dredging, survey, Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading, etc.) to immediately regularise their tax positions.

”All affected international shipping lines must conclude the regularization of their outstanding tax returns at the Non-Resident Persons Tax Office (17B Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos) not later than 31st December, 2023.

”The Service is collaborating with relevant government regulatory and security agencies in the maritime sector to commence enforcement action on all defaulting shipping companies after the expiration of the grace period of 31st December, 2023,” Nami warned.

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