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Nigeria: FIRS published Circular No.: 2021/19 to provide VAT compliance guidance for non-residents selling goods and services through electronic or digital means.

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) of Nigeria recently published Information Circular No.: 2021/19 on Guidelines on Simplified Compliance Regime for Value Added Tax (VAT) for Non-Resident Suppliers (NRSs). The issued guidance, dated 11th October 2021, relates to goods and services provided by persons (i.e., natural persons, trusts, partnerships, corporations, companies, and any other persons) not physically present, located or represented in Nigeria to businesses (B2B) or consumers (B2C) in Nigeria through electronic or digital means. 

 

Date of effectivity with respect to, 

  • Supply of services and intangibles – 1 January 2022 
  • Supply of Goods – 1 January 2024 

 

Compliance by Non-Residents Suppliers (NRS) 

The Circular, with the provisions of the VAT Act (as amended), defines NRSs as “suppliers located outside the territory of Nigeria, who supply taxable goods, services, digital products or intangibles to Nigerian customers through digital or electronic platforms or means or intermediaries where such intermediaries are not the actual owners or suppliers of the goods or services but facilitate the supply, issuance of invoices and payment”. 

 

An NRS who makes taxable supplies to Nigeria is required to: 

 

  • Register for the tax with the FIRS. 

 

 

The registration threshold is USD 25,000 (or its equivalent in other currencies).  

 

  • Obtain a Taxpayers Identification Number (TIN). 
  • Include VAT on their invoices. 
  • In line with the VAT Act, the NRS must meet any of the following conditions:  

a) The supplies are made, through digital means, to a person in Nigeria from a location outside Nigeria, or  

b) The supplies are delivered to, consumed, or otherwise utilised in Nigeria. 

  • Expense any input VAT incurred on services supplied to Nigeria. 
  • File monthly VAT returns, including a  

 

 

The VAT returns may be filed via the dedicated link to be provided by the FIRS on its portal or by forwarding the duly completed VAT form 002 to a designated FIRS email within the stipulated timeline. This also includes submission of Nil return for months where no taxable supply is made to Nigeria. 

 

  • Remit tax payments, using its name and TIN, local currency (Naira) through any collecting banks or through electronic payment methods.  

 

 

The three major foreign currencies in which taxes should be paid are USD, GBP, and Euro. 

 

  • Keep reliable and verifiable records detailing the type of supply, date of the supply, VAT payable and any such information relevant to ascertain that the tax for each supply was duly charged and accounted for. 

 

Intermediaries 

 

  • The intermediary will be deemed the Supplier for purpose of VAT. 
  • The intermediary will have the primary responsibility for complying with the charging, collection, remittance, filing of VAT returns and relevant record keeping obligations under the VAT Act, while the NRS will be exempt from further obligation under the Act. 
  • The intermediary will be required to register for VAT using its own name, issue VAT invoices for the taxable supplies, and deduct and remit the VAT due to the FIRS. 

 

 

Exempt services based on the Circular: 

 

a) Professional and consultancy services that are not automated but are delivered via the internet (e.g., via email); 

b) Broadcasting services; 

c) Telecommunications services; and  

d) Services that are exempt from tax under the First Schedule to the Act. 

 

 

Source: Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) of Nigeria 

 

 

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