Resident companies are liable to corporate income tax (CIT) on their worldwide income while non-residents are subject to CIT on their Nigeria-source income.
The CIT rate is 30% for large companies (i.e. companies with gross turnover greater than NGN 100 million), assessed on a preceding year basis (i.e. tax is charged on profits for the accounting year ending in the year preceding assessment).
Investment income paid by a Nigerian resident to a non-resident is sourced in Nigeria and subject to withholding tax (WHT) at source, which serves as the final tax.
In respect of business profits, a non-resident company that has a fixed base or a permanent establishment (PE) in Nigeria is taxable on the profits attributable to that fixed base. Non-resident digital companies that have a significant economic presence (SEP) will be subject to income tax in Nigeria on profit attributable to the taxable presence in Nigeria.
A foreign entity involved in digital transactions will be deemed to have created an SEP in Nigeria and is therefore liable to tax if it:
- derives income of NGN 25 million or equivalent in other currencies from Nigeria in a year
- uses a Nigerian domain name (.ng) or registers a website address in Nigeria, or
- has purposeful and sustained interactions with persons in Nigeria by customising its digital platform to target persons in Nigeria (e.g. by stating the prices of its products or services in naira).
For the purposes of (i) above, revenue derived from Nigeria includes that in respect of:
- Streaming or downloading of digital contents.
- Transmission of data collected about users in Nigeria.
- Provision of goods or services directly or through a digital platform.
- Intermediation services that link suppliers and customers in Nigeria.
Activities carried out by connected persons shall be aggregated to determine the NGN 25 million threshold (where applicable).
Any company covered under any multilateral agreement to which Nigeria is a party will be treated in accordance with those agreements from the effective date in Nigeria.
Non-resident companies providing professional, consultancy, management, and technical (PCMT) services to Nigeria residents will be subject to tax at 10% final tax where such company has an SEP in Nigeria.
A foreign entity providing technical (including training, advertising, supply of personnel), professional, management, or consultancy services shall have an SEP in Nigeria in any accounting year if it earns any income or receives any payment from a person resident in Nigeria or a fixed base or agent of a foreign entity in Nigeria.
As such, it is required to register for CIT and file its tax returns. Any WHT deducted at source from its Nigeria-source income is available as offset against the CIT liability save for non-resident companies carrying out PCMT services where the WHT paid at 10% is deemed to be final tax.