The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has concluded plans to enforce tax payment for social media content creators and influencers, alleging that social media content creators and influencers constituted a major block of tax evaders.
“They are not paying,” Dare Adekambi, Special Adviser on Media to the Chairman of the FIRS, stated when asked if Nigerian content creators file tax returns.
“Skit makers, influencers and other content creators who are making money using digital platforms need to be paying tax. There is a law in Nigeria that requires everybody who earns income to pay tax. They earn in dollars. Tax is a civic obligation; civil servants are paying, so they also have to pay.
“The CAC’s Registrar General and the FIRS’ Chairman recently discussed how they can work together in bringing them into the tax net. The challenge is how to track them, but we are looking into it,” Adekambi said.
He said the FIRS would meet with Content Creators and influencers and make them see why they should voluntarily pay tax.
“But if our friendly approach is taken for granted, then we will go for enforcement,” he added.
He said the FIRS would use data and technology to scale up tax revenues.
“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? By the time a committee is a set up to look into it, a broad spectrum of activities will be covered.
“There is a way the government monitors everything in other climes. One of the cardinal goals of the current FIRS chairman is to leverage technology and data. When you have these, revenue will be predictable and it will be easy for the government to plan,” he said.
Unlike in Nigeria, social media content creators and influencers pay taxes in developed countries. In the United States and Australia, for instance, they are required to file their tax returns at a specified period.