Tax clearance certificate in Nigeria: How to Apply

A Tax Clearance Certificate is a very important document that businesses in Nigeria should have. The certificate confirms that such a business complied with the tax requirements of the Nigerian government. This tax clearance certificate is issued by the FIRS – Federal Inland Revenue Service – a body under the Nigerian ministry of finance.

As an individual or corporate body doing business in Nigeria, you would need a tax clearance certificate when you are applying for business contracts and for your work permits. In this article, we will be looking at how one can apply and get a tax clearance certificate in Nigeria.

How to apply for a tax clearance certificate
The first thing you must do is to fill and submit a tax clearance application form. This form can be obtained from any of the Federal Inland Revenue Service offices close to you, it can also be downloaded from the FIRS official website. If you do not know any FIRS office close by, you can visit their official website and check out their locations.

It is important to ensure that you enter the correct information in the form and avoid making errors. If you are not clear on any detail, you can request for guidance from someone who understands it. FIRS will charge you extra fees for correcting errors when you submit your form.

As you submit your form (you will be submitting 3 copies of it) you will also submit the following documents;

A valid ID (International Passport, National I.D, Drivers license)
Your BIR – Board of Inland Revenue – file number. You will be issued a BIR file number after completely paying all outstanding payments with the body.
Tax payment receipt of previous years
Bank teller of E-payment receipt of Tax Clearance Certificate Fee
TIN/VAT Registration Evidence
Income tax working sheet
Passport photographs
Certificate of incorporation
Tax appointment letter and your letter of acceptance
Completed FIRS questionnaire (this is applicable to new taxpayers only)
Letter addressed to the Tax Controller at FIRS
Your memorandum and articles of association

Before you begin the application process, it is important that you have every one of these documents ready, especially the Tax Identification Number (TIN). You will make photocopies of the documents but as you go to submit, you should go along with the original certificates. You won’t be expected to submit them, the tax controller will simply see and inspect it to ensure that they are authentic certificates.

The fee you are to pay is TT$100 (One Hundred Trinidad and Tobago Dollar) which is around N5,500 (Five Thousand, Five Hundred Naira). However, this is just the official fee from the FIRS, some additional fees may apply in processing other documents.

Contents of a Tax Clearance Certificate
As you get your Tax Clearance Certificate, you should check to ensure that the below information are contained and correct;
Business Name
RC Number
VAT / TIN Number
Payable Tax
Paid Tax
Outstanding Tax

Applying for a Tax clearance certificate is something important every business in Nigeria should do. If you are planning to apply, the information above will help you.