How to Get a Tax Clearance Certificate in Nigeria

how to get tax clearance certificate in nigeria
how to get tax clearance certificate in nigeria

Staying on top of your taxes is crucial for running a business in Nigeria. Beyond being a civic duty, it’s essential for activities like securing government contracts, grants, and loans.

A Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) proves you’re current with your taxes. In Nigeria, this certificate, issued by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), confirms that all tax liabilities are settled up to the date of issuance.

Who Can Get a Tax Clearance Certificate?

Both individuals and companies can obtain a TCC, provided they’ve filed tax returns for the past three years. This certificate is issued annually by FIRS.

Why You Need a Tax Clearance Certificate

A TCC is often required for:

  • Applying for licenses
  • Securing government loans
  • Obtaining real estate title documents
  • Bidding for government contracts
  • Acting as a surety for someone on bail
  • Applying for trade licenses like NUPRC & NCC licenses
  • Processing import/export licenses
  • Getting a gaming license

Expatriates and non-citizens doing business in Nigeria also need a TCC to comply with local tax laws and avoid double taxation if their country has a bilateral tax agreement with Nigeria.

Preparing for Your Tax Clearance Certificate Application

Before applying, ensure all tax obligations are fulfilled. This includes filing necessary returns and paying any outstanding taxes. For businesses, this means ensuring PAYE (Pay As You Earn), VAT (Value Added Tax), and corporate taxes are up to date. Individuals must clear their personal income tax.

Tax Clearance Certificate Checklist

To get a TCC, you need:

  • For Direct Assessment: Self-Assessment Tax Form, Proof of Service, Interview Sheet, Income Tax Working Sheet, Notice of Assessment, E-Payment Receipt, Bank Teller, Payment Receipts for relevant years, Application for TCC, Employees Annual Assessment File, Evidence of TIN Registration.
  • For PAYE Scheme: Taxpayer’s application for TCC, tax returns for the last three years and the current year, proof of tax remittance, Certificate of Payment and Tax, Tax Identification Number, detailed taxpayer brief, and two passport photographs.
tax clearance certificate in nigeria

How to Obtain a Tax Clearance Certificate in Nigeria

  1. Register with FIRS
  2. File Your Tax Returns
    • Ensure all tax returns are filed accurately and completely.
  3. Pay Outstanding Taxes
    • Pay any due taxes. Confirm outstanding amounts with FIRS if necessary.
  4. Apply for the TCC
    • Apply online through the FIRS website or at any FIRS office. Provide your TIN, completed application form, proof of tax payment, and other relevant documents.
  5. Processing Your Application
    • FIRS will review your application and verify compliance. Ensure all information is accurate to avoid delays.
  6. Collect Your TCC
    • Once approved, FIRS will issue your TCC, usually within two weeks. You can collect it in person or receive it via email.

What’s in a Tax Clearance Certificate?

A TCC includes information such as turnover, assessable profit or loss, total profit, tax payable, and any outstanding tax.

When a TCC May Be Denied

A TCC can be denied if a person has failed to remit deducted taxes (like PAYE or WHT) to the relevant authority.

Offences and Penalties

Providing incorrect information or obtaining a TCC through misrepresentation, forgery, or falsification is an offence, punishable by fines, imprisonment, or both.

How To Get Your TCC Without Stress

Don’t forget to stay updated with your tax filings by regularly submitting returns and making timely payments.

It’s important to keep accurate records of your income, expenses, tax filings, and payments. Seeking professional advice from a tax professional or accountant can provide valuable guidance.

For professional tax management support and further enquiries, book a consultation call with experts on the TaxPal team through this link

If your application is delayed, it’s a good idea to follow up with the tax authority for updates.


Obtaining a Tax Clearance Certificate in Nigeria is straightforward if you comply with your tax obligations. Regularly filing returns, promptly paying taxes, and accurately completing the application ensures a smooth process. Staying proactive with your taxes not only simplifies getting a TCC but also supports a compliant and transparent business environment in Nigeria.