In a bold move, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has declared its intention to pursue popular skit makers, influencers, and digital content creators, including figures like Mr. Macaroni and Taaooma, to ensure compliance with tax obligations

Voluntary Compliance or Enforcement: FIRS’s Approach

The FIRS outlined its strategy, intending to initiate discussions with the entertainers to encourage voluntary tax payments. However, if the appeal for voluntary compliance proves unsuccessful, the tax authority is prepared to escalate to enforcement measures.

Dare Adekambi, the Special Adviser on Media to the chairman of the FIRS, highlighted the urgency, stating, “Skit makers, influencers, and other content creators who are making money using digital platforms need to be paying tax.” Adekambi emphasized that taxation is a civic obligation, and those earning income, particularly in dollars, must contribute to the nation’s revenue.

Challenges and Collaboration: Tracking Digital Earnings

Acknowledging the challenges of tracking digital income, Adekambi revealed ongoing discussions between the Corporate Affairs Commission’s Registrar-General and the FIRS chairman on collaborating to bring digital content creators into the tax net. He assured that the FIRS would employ a friendly approach in the initial engagement but affirmed that enforcement would follow if necessary.

Global Standard: Comparisons with Developed Countries

Adekambi argued that social media content creators and influencers paying taxes align with global standards. Drawing parallels with developed nations, he emphasized that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter contribute to the tax pool, raising the question of why those leveraging these platforms for income should be exempt.

“If Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms are paying taxes to the government, why would people using those platforms to create content and make money not pay?” Adekambi questioned, asserting that leveraging technology and data were pivotal goals for the FIRS chairman to enhance revenue predictability.

As the FIRS gears up for discussions with digital content creators, the looming prospect of enforcement adds urgency to the call for tax compliance in Nigeria’s vibrant digital entertainment space.



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