FG files criminal charges against Binance (DETAILS)

FILE PHOTO: A composition showing crypto currency with the Binance logo. Picture taken on Nov. 10, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

The Federal Government has initiated legal proceedings against Binance, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange platform, over alleged tax evasion.

The charges were filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja and were announced on Monday by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The lawsuit, identified as suit number FHC/ABJ/CR/115/2024, accuses Binance of four counts of tax evasion.

FIRS stated in a statement issued on Monday that the move aims to uphold fiscal responsibility and safeguard Nigeria’s economic integrity.

Joined with Binance as second and third defendants are Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, both senior executives of Binance, who are currently in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The charges against Binance include 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.

The lawsuit also accuses Binance of failing to register with FIRS for tax purposes and violating existing tax regulations in the country.

One of the counts in the lawsuit pertains to Binance’s alleged 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 further detail specific instances where Binance purportedly violated tax laws, such as failing to issue invoices for VAT purposes, hindering the determination and payment of taxes by subscribers.

According to Dare Adekanmbi, the Special Adviser, Media to the Executive Chairman of FIRS, any company transacting business in excess of N25 million annually is deemed to be present in Nigeria and is required to pay taxes like Company Income Tax (CIT) and collect and pay Value Added Tax (VAT).

Adekanmbi emphasized that Binance’s failure to comply with Nigerian tax laws could result in investigation and legal action for the company.