Nigeria to tax crypto, digital assets 10% on capital gains — Experts react

On the eve of his departure from office on May 28, former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Finance Act, 2023, into law. 

The act introduces a series of tax reforms aimed at modernizing the country’s fiscal framework. Among its provisions was the introduction of a 10% tax on gains from the disposal of digital assets, including cryptocurrencies.

The comprehensive legislation seeks to enhance fiscal transparency, boost revenue generation and promote economic growth. Recognizing the increasing prominence of digital assets, the act aims to impose a tax on cryptocurrencies.

By doing so, the Nigerian government seeks to create a level playing field to ensure digital asset holders contribute their share of taxes to the country’s development. This indicates Nigeria’s recognition of the growing influence and economic potential of digital assets, while ensuring the tax system keeps pace with the evolving financial landscape. Cointelegraph contacted members of the local crypto ecosystem to understand how the industry and the community are receiving the new legislation.

Local crypto expert Barnette Akomolafe, from the crypto exchange app M7pay spoke about how the taxation can be seen as a step towards recognizing cryptocurrencies as legitimate assets and integrating them into the existing financial and regulatory framework. This is considering the already existing ban previously reported by Cointelegraph, the Central Bank of Nigeria barred commercial banks from servicing crypto exchanges back in February 2021.

Related: Nigerian crypto company suspends withdrawals after BTC and naira compromise

Another local crypto expert, who prefers to stay anonymous said that the taxation of cryptocurrencies can be challenging due to the unique nature of digital assets, such as valuation, tracking transactions and international complexities. Governments need to establish clear guidelines and provide adequate education and support to taxpayers in return. This point of view seemed to be supported by more crypto ethusiaists.

In many cases, governments do require the cooperation of crypto exchanges operating within their jurisdiction to track users’ capital gains. By working with exchanges, authorities can access transaction data and identify individuals or entities for tax purposes. However, the level of cooperation and specific regulations vary from country to country. Some jurisdictions have implemented stricter requirements for exchanges to report user information, while others may have limited regulations or be in the process of developing them.

Cointelegraph reached out to Binance Africa for comment but didn’t get a response by the time of publication.

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