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Breaking: FG files tax evasion charges against Binance

"The charges leveled against Binance include allegations of non-payment of Value-Added Tax (VAT), Company Income Tax, failure to file tax returns, and complicity in aiding customers to evade taxes through its platform"

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The Federal Government has slammed a four-count charge against Binance, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange platform operating in the country.

The prosecution aims to uphold the nation’s fiscal responsibility and preserve the nation’s economic integrity.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) announced the charges on Monday, formally lodged at the Federal High Court in Abuja, according to Persecondnews.

Designated as suit number FHC/ABJ/CR/115/2024, the lawsuit implicates Binance in a four-count tax evasion accusation.

Charged along with the crypto company as second and third defendants are Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, both senior executives of Binance currently held in custody by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The charges leveled against Binance include allegations of non-payment of Value-Added Tax (VAT), Company Income Tax, failure to file tax returns, and complicity in aiding customers to evade taxes through its platform.

Furthermore, the Federal Government accuses Binance of neglecting to register with FIRS for tax purposes and contravening existing tax regulations within the country.

One of the counts in the lawsuit pertains to Binance’s purported failure to collect and remit various categories of taxes to the federation, as stipulated by Section 40 of the FIRS Establishment Act 2007 (as amended).

The charges outline specific instances where Binance allegedly violated tax laws, such as the failure to issue invoices for VAT purposes, thereby impeding the determination and payment of taxes by subscribers.

FIRS noted in a statement that “any company that conducts business exceeding N25 million annually is deemed, by the Finance Act, to be present in Nigeria.

“According to this rule, Binance falls into that category. So, it is obligated to pay taxes like Company Income Tax (CIT) and also collect and remit Value Added Tax (VAT).

However, Binance did not adhere to these requirements, thus violating Nigerian laws and potentially facing investigation and legal action for this infraction.”

By law, FIRS has the authority to administer pertinent tax laws and to assess, collect, and account for revenue accruing to the Federation.

Binance previously pleaded guilty to violating anti-money laundering laws in the United States in late 2023, reaching a plea bargain agreement that resulted in the company paying a hefty fine of $4.3 billion.

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