How to File Tax in Nigeria

In this article, we will show you how to file tax in Nigeria, from preparing for the process to verifying that the process has been completed. Come along.

What is Tax Filing?

Tax filing involves submitting your tax returns to the tax authority. This means providing all necessary financial details like income, deductions, credits, and expenses in the format required by Nigerian tax laws.

How to file tax in Nigeria

Why File Taxes?

Filing taxes determines how much you owe or if you’re due a refund. You’ll complete and submit the relevant forms or use electronic filing methods provided by the tax authority.

Importance of Timely Tax Filing

Filing your taxes on time is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Avoid Penalties and Interest: Late filing leads to penalties and interest charges that can add up.
  2. Legal Compliance: Meeting the deadline is a legal requirement; missing it can result in legal consequences.
  3. Claim Refunds: Filing late delays any refund you might be entitled to.
  4. Access Benefits: Some benefits and credits require timely tax returns, like tax incentives for CIT.
  5. Reduce Audit Risk: Timely filing decreases the chance of a tax audit and keeps your financial documentation in order for loans, mortgages, or visas.

How to File Tax in Nigeria

Filing taxes in Nigeria can be done either manually or electronically, depending on your preference. Here’s a step-by-step guide for both methods.

Manual Filing

  1. Gather Required Documents: Collect all necessary financial documents.
  2. Download and Complete Tax Form: Choose the applicable form (Form C08A, C08B, C08C, or C08D) from the FIRS website and fill it out.
  3. Login to FIRS Self-Filing System: Use the FIRS self-filing system to submit your tax returns.
  4. Obtain Receipt or Acknowledgment: Ensure you get a receipt or acknowledgment for your records.

Electronic Filing (e-Filing)

  1. Gather Required Documents: Collect all necessary financial documents.
  2. Complete Tax Form: Choose and fill out the applicable form (Form C08A, C08B, C08C, or C08D).
  3. Login to FIRS Self-Filing System: Access the FIRS Self-Filing System to file your tax returns.
  4. Report Income and Claim Deductions: Accurately report all income sources and claim eligible deductions or reliefs.
  5. Calculate Taxable Income and Liability: Compute your chargeable/taxable income and tax liability.
  6. Ensure TIN Accuracy: Your Tax Identification Number (TIN) must be accurately quoted on all tax forms, payments, and correspondence. A valid TIN is crucial for tax compliance and eligibility for services like tax clearance certificates.

By following these steps, you can ensure your tax filing is accurate and compliant with Nigerian tax laws.

How to file tax in Nigeria

Tax Deductions and Credits

Under the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA), you can deduct:

  • Operating Expenses: Salaries, interest on loans, repairs, rent, etc.
  • Capital Allowances: Depreciation on buildings, machinery, vehicles, etc.
  • Tax-Exempt Income: Dividends from Nigerian companies.
  • Unrelieved Losses: Previous losses can offset current profits.

Tax credits can include:

  • Withholding Tax Credits: Credits for taxes deducted from your income.
  • Foreign Tax Credits: For taxes paid on foreign income.
  • Specific Tax Credits: Sector-specific incentives like tax holidays or investment credits.

Penalties for Late Filing

FIRS can impose various penalties for late tax filing:

  1. VAT: N50,000 for the first month and N25,000 for each subsequent month.
  2. CIT: N25,000 for the first month and N5,000 for each subsequent month.
  3. Personal Income Tax: 10% per annum of the tax payable.

For PAYE, employers face N500,000 for corporate bodies and N50,000 for individuals if they contravene the provisions. Withholding tax penalties include 10% of the tax not deducted or remitted plus interest at the prevailing rate.


Filing taxes in Nigeria doesn’t have to be daunting. By understanding the process, meeting deadlines, and knowing the penalties, you can ensure compliance and take advantage of potential benefits.