International Shipping Lines Must Regularize Tax Positions Or Face Sanctions – FIRS

The Federal Inland Revenue Service has ordered that all maritime businesses operating in Nigerian territorial waters file their pending tax returns by December 31, 2023.

The FIRS announced this in a public statement signed by its Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami.

FIRS noted the order is the sequel to two previous seculars of June and December 2021 wherein it provided the basis of taxation of international shipping lines and also called on them to regularize their tax affairs with the service within three months.

The circular also stated that the FIRS had observed that many international shipping lines operating in the country had not been complying with the nation’s extant tax laws.

It said thus, “The circular provides the basis of taxation for all 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 (FIRS) 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 (containerized, bulk cargo, fishing trawlers, crude oil and natural gas lifting vessels, dredging, survey, floating, production, storage, and offloading, etc.) to immediately regularise their tax positions.”

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