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Aggressive Tax Avoidance In Nigeria: Lifting The Corporate Veil As An Anti-Avoidance Tool

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Aggressive Tax Avoidance In Nigeria: Lifting The Corporate Veil As An Anti-Avoidance Tool

Abstract

Aggressive tax avoidance strategies deployed by multinationals in the face of the failed statutory anti avoidance rule stated in section 22 of the Companies Income Tax Act, founded on a dichotomy between form and economic substance of transactions and exploitation of statutory infirmities, are a significant factor in accounting for the massive gap between potential and actual tax revenues in Nigeria. This should be a matter of concern because it distorts fairness, threatens the integrity of the tax system and ultimately undermines development. Drawing on developments in the UK and India, it is argued that the courts should be prepared to intervene by deploying the doctrine of lifting the corporate veil, alongside purposive interpretation as an anti-avoidance tool.

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