Apply for the Federal Government of Nigeria Tax Identification Number (TIN)
I have been receiving a lot of calls in recent times about how to apply for TIN in Nigeria. You will find here all the detailed steps you need to know to apply for your tax identification number.
This is going to be a long read, but please take out time to read this since you NEED IT!
How to apply for TIN.
How to apply for TIN?
Are you a Nigerian citizen working for a private organization or with the government? Do you own a business or do you have the intention to start one? It is important that you know what a tax identification number is, and not only know but you also possess one.
A lot of small business owners believe that registering their companies, and business names with the CAC is all they need to be known as serious businessmen/women. However for an entity to be recognized in Nigeria, it goes way beyond registering with the CAC but also registering for tax.
I have your attention, right? Let’s start with identifying what exactly is a taxpayer identification number (TIN).
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What is a TIN?
The tax identification number (TIN) is a unique identifier for an individual or a company for the specific purpose of tax remittance.
The TIN number is prepared by the tax office and issued to individuals or registered business / incorporated companies for proper identification and verification.
Why do I need a TIN?
As a business or individual, TIN is important because that is what shows that you are a registered taxpayer in Nigeria, and as you know that tax payment is made compulsory, every company, business, and Individual must have their own unique tax identification number.
After completion of registration with the tax office, the entity or individual is issued a TIN.
Remember that registration for tax is a legal obligation for everyone who is required by LAW to remit taxes in Nigeria.
If your company or business operates for-profit and income is generated from Nigeria, then you are required by law to apply for TIN. Please note that incorporated trustees DO NOT require TIN! Take note of THIS!
Do I hear you ask again, why you need a TIN?
What else do I need a TIN for apart from tax identification?
There are other important things that a TIN can be used for apart from identifying a business or individual as a registered taxpayer. These things are equally important as well:
1. Opening of business account
2. Application for government loans
3. For foreign exchange and receipt of capital importation into the country
4. A TIN is necessary for licenses relating to trade, import, and export
5. Registration of cars
6. Certificate of occupancy application
7. To obtain the Tax clearance certificate for individuals and companies which shows that you are a tax-compliant business
8. To obtain tax incentives, tax waivers, and certain tax allowances. Remember the recent pioneer incentive given to TSTV Africa?
How much will it cost me to apply for my TIN?
Applying for TIN is totally free IF YOU DO IT ON YOUR OWN and if you have not incurred any tax penalty based on the time frame given according to the LAW to obtain your TIN, either as an individual or as a company.
There are no fees to be paid unless you intend to employ third parties to assist you in registering and obtaining the TIN.
There could be a lot of bottlenecks in the back and forth involved in liaising with the tax authorities for the receipt of your TIN. It will be better to shift the responsibilities to a third party so you can focus on more strategic aspects of the business.
Application for TIN as a registered company
All registration statements have been made by the Joint tax board on registering for the TIN. If you are also a tech-savvy business person, you can do all your TIN registration online by checking the FIRS service platform.
You need to know the various documents you would need to apply for TIN as a company already incorporated. Head over to the Federal Inland Revenue Service office closest to your company’s registered address in the list that is here, with certain documents.
For Registered business names
Also, if you are a registered business name and not an incorporated company. Then you need to apply for your TIN via the VAT registration, there was a recent unification by the FIRS office whereby your VAT number will double as your TIN registration number.
Also, in some situations, registration for TIN also comes simultaneously with registration for companies’ income tax and also value-added tax as stated above. This can be possible if your incorporated business or company has been in operation for six months.
As soon as you receive your TIN, this should be displayed on all your official documents especially instruments of business/ financial transactions like your invoices. This is extremely key and important in the eventuality of a tax audit by any of the tax offices.
The fact that the tax office now operates as an integrated tax office now makes everything easy for taxpayers.
How to apply for TIN: Individuals
Application for TIN as an individual
You have to head over to the nearest Inland Revenue Office along with the original and photocopies of your nationally recognized ID card like your driver’s license, permanent voters’ card, International passport, etc.
You will also be required to complete and submit an application form.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE TIN OF AN INDIVIDUAL IS DIFFERENT FROM THE TIN FOR A BUSINESS NAME OR A INCORPORATED COMPANY.