Loading, please wait ...

Go back to blog homepage

No
Types of Withholding Tax in Nigeria: A Comprehensive Guide cover
Share article

Types of Withholding Tax in Nigeria: A Comprehensive Guide

Withholding tax is a form of tax that is deducted at source from payments made to individuals or companies. The tax is withheld by the payer of the income and remitted to the government on behalf of the recipient. In Nigeria, withholding tax is a major source of revenue for the government. The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) collects the tax.

There are several types of withholding tax in Nigeria. The most common types are the withholding tax on rent, dividends, interest, and royalties. The tax rates vary depending on the type of income and the status of the recipient. For example, the withholding tax rate on rent paid to a non-resident is 10%, while the rate on rent paid to a resident is 10% for individuals and 2.5% for companies. The withholding tax rate on dividends is 10% for individuals and 7.5% for companies. The rate on interest and royalties is 10%.

The purpose of withholding tax is to ensure that the government receives its share of income from various sources. The tax is deducted at source, which means that the recipient of the income does not have to worry about paying the tax separately. The payer of the income is responsible for deducting the tax and remitting it to the government. This makes the process of tax collection more efficient and less burdensome for individuals and companies.

Understanding Withholding Tax in Nigeria

Withholding tax is a tax system in which a payer is required to deduct a certain percentage of tax from payments made to a payee and remit the same to the relevant tax authority. In Nigeria, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) governs withholding tax. The Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) is also responsible for regulating the tax.

Concept and Legal Framework

Withholding tax is applicable to various transactions such as income from dividends, interest, rent, royalties, commission etc. The payer is required to deduct the tax at the point of payment and remit the same to the FIRS within 21 days after the end of the month in which the deduction was made. Failure to deduct and remit withholding tax attracts a penalty of 10% of the tax due and interest at the prevailing Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) plus 1%.

Obligations and Compliance

Both the payer and the payee have obligations under the withholding tax system. The payer is responsible for deducting the tax, remitting the same to the FIRS, and filing withholding tax returns. The payee is required to provide the payer with a valid Tax Identification Number (TIN) and ensure that the tax deducted is reflects in their tax returns. Failure to comply with the withholding tax system may result in penalties and interest charges.

Rates and Deductions

The current withholding tax rates in Nigeria vary depending on the type of transaction. For dividends, the current withholding tax rate for individuals and corporate entities is 10%. For interest payments, the rate is 10% for individuals and 15% for corporate entities. Rent payments attract a rate of 10% for individuals and 10% for corporate entities. Royalties, commission, consultancy fees, management fees, technical services, and professional services attract a rate of 10% for individuals and 15% for corporate entities. Construction contracts, services, goods, and hire of equipment attract a rate of 5% for individuals and 10% for corporate entities.

In conclusion, withholding tax is a crucial aspect of Nigeria's tax system, and it is essential for both the payer and the payee to comply with the relevant tax laws. Understanding the rates, deductions, and compliance requirements is crucial to avoid penalties and interest charges.

Types of Withholding Tax in Nigeria

Nigeria has several types of withholding tax, each with its own specific percentage rate. The following are the major types of withholding tax in Nigeria:

Dividend Withholding Tax

Dividend withholding tax (WHT) is a tax imposed on dividends paid to shareholders by companies. The tax rate for dividend WHT is 10%. This means that if a shareholder receives a dividend payment of N100, the company will deduct N10 as WHT and pay N90 to the shareholder.

Interest Withholding Tax

Interest withholding tax (WHT) is a tax imposed on interest payments made to lenders by borrowers. The tax rate for interest WHT is 10%. This means that if a borrower pays N100 in interest to a lender, the borrower will deduct N10 as WHT and pay N90 to the lender.

Rent Withholding Tax

Rent withholding tax (WHT) is a tax imposed on rent payments made by tenants to landlords. The tax rate for rent WHT is 10%. This means that if a tenant pays N100 in rent to a landlord, the tenant will deduct N10 as WHT and pay N90 to the landlord.

Royalties Withholding Tax

The government collects a 10% withholding tax (WHT) on royalties paid to non-resident individuals or companies. This means that if a non-resident individual or company receives N100 in royalties, the payer will deduct N10 as WHT and pay N90 to the recipient.

Commission, Consultancy, and Management Fees Withholding Tax

The government imposes a 10% withholding tax (WHT) on payments made for commission, consultancy, and management services. This tax is deducted directly from the payment and remitted to the government.

Technical and Professional Services Withholding Tax

The government collects a 10% withholding tax (WHT) on payments made for technical and professional services.

Construction Contracts Withholding Tax

The government collects a 5% withholding tax (WHT) on payments made for construction contracts.

Services and Goods Withholding Tax

The government collects a 5% withholding tax (WHT) on payments made for services and goods. The tax rate for services and goods WHT is 5%.

Hire of Equipment Withholding Tax

The government collects a 5% withholding tax (WHT) on payments made for the hire of equipment. Implications and Benefits

For Local and Foreign Companies

Withholding tax has significant implications for both local and foreign companies operating in Nigeria. For resident companies, it is mandatory to withhold tax on payments made to suppliers, contractors, and other service providers. Failure to do so may result in penalties and legal issues. On the other hand, non-resident companies are required to withhold tax on payments made for services rendered in Nigeria, including those related to intellectual property, directors' fees, and rent.

Foreign transactions are also subject to withholding tax, with the rate varying depending on the nature of the transaction and the country of origin. The good news is that Nigeria has double taxation agreements with many countries, which can help to avoid double taxation and reduce the overall tax burden.

For Individuals and Businesses

Withholding tax also affects individuals and businesses in Nigeria. For instance, employers are required to withhold tax on salaries and wages paid to employees, while landlords are required to withhold tax on rent paid to them by tenants. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in penalties and legal issues.

On the other hand, businesses that comply with withholding tax requirements may be eligible for tax credits and exemptions. For instance, tax credits may be available for taxes paid on foreign transactions, while exemptions may be available for certain types of income, such as interest earned on tax-sheltered accounts.

Tax Credits and Exemptions

Both tax credits and exemptions are important benefits of withholding tax in Nigeria. Tax credits can help to reduce the overall tax burden by allowing businesses to offset taxes paid on foreign transactions against their Nigerian tax liability. Exemptions, on the other hand, can help to reduce the tax liability by excluding certain types of income from taxation.

Avoiding Penalties and Legal Issues

Complying with withholding tax requirements is essential for avoiding penalties and legal issues. Failure to withhold tax or remit the tax withheld to the relevant authorities may result in penalties, fines, and legal action. As such, it is important for businesses to work with tax professionals and stay up to date with the latest tax regulations to ensure compliance and avoid legal issues.

In conclusion, withholding tax has significant implications for businesses and individuals in Nigeria. While it may seem like an additional burden, compliance with withholding tax requirements can help to ensure fairness and stability in the Nigerian economy, while also providing benefits such as tax credits and exemptions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, withholding tax is an important aspect of the Nigerian tax system. It is a tax that is deducted at source and remitted to the relevant tax authority by the person making the payment. The tax is applicable to a wide range of transactions, including rent, dividends, and professional services.

The withholding tax rates vary depending on the type of transaction and the parties involved. For instance, tenants generally face a 5% WHT deduction on their monthly rent payments, while shareholders receiving dividends from Nigerian companies encounter a 10% WHT deduction.

It is important for taxpayers to understand their obligations with respect to withholding tax and to comply with the relevant regulations. Failure to do so can result in penalties and other consequences.

Overall, understanding the types of withholding tax in Nigeria is crucial for individuals and businesses operating in the country. By staying informed and up to date on the latest regulations, taxpayers can ensure that they are in compliance with the law and avoid any unnecessary penalties or issues.

Want more content like this? Sign Up!

Was this post helpful?

Start saving, borrowing, and investing smarter
today. 

Scroll to Top

Sign up for our newsletters now for the latest updates on loan offerings, money tips, and qualify to check your credit score ₦600 free!

By continuing, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.