Daily Law Tips (Tip 373) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

THINGS YOU CANNOT DO IN NIGERIA WITHOUT A TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE.

Tax is revenue for government and government must ensure tax payers comply and pay adequate tax. By law, government ministries, departments, agencies, parastatals and establishment or commercial bank while dealing with any person must demand from the person a valid tax clearance certificate and also verify the genuineness of same by referring it to the issuing tax office.

Below is a list of things/transactions you cannot do/conduct in Nigeria without a tax clearance certificate:

(a) application for Government loan for industry or business;
(b)    registration of motor vehicle;
(c)    application for firearms licence;
(d)    application for foreign exchange or exchange control permission to remit funds outside Nigeria;
(e)    application for certificate of occupancy;
(f)     application for award of contracts by Government, its agencies and registered companies;
(g)    application for approval of building plans;
(h)    application for trade licence;
(i)     application for transfer of real property;
(j)     application for import or export licence;
(k)    application for agent licence;
(l)     application for pools or gaming licence;
(m)   application for registration as a contractor;
(n)    application for distributorship;
(o)    confirmation of appointment by Government as chairman or member of a public board, institution, commission, company or to any other similar position made by the Government;
(p)    stamping of guarantor’s form for a Nigerian passport;
(q)    application for registration of a limited liability company or of a business name;
(r)     application for allocation of market stalls;
(s)    appointment or election into public office.
(t)     for change of ownership of vehicle by the vendor;
(u)    application for plot of land; and
(v)    any other transaction as may be determined from time to time.
(w) application for control permission to remit funds abroad to a non-resident from rent, dividends, interest, royalty and fee, etc.

Note that failure of government organisation or commercial bank to demand and obtain tax clearance certificate of a person before relating with such person on the above listed issues has committed an offence and it is punishable with fine of 5 Million Naira and or imprisonment for 3 years.

My authorities are sections 1, 2, 3, 85, 108 and 109 of the Personal Income Tax Act 1993.

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