Importance of Tax Identification Number (TIN)

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It is mandatory for all companies to obtain TIN from the closest Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to their offices. This number is a unique registration number for the company with FIRS, it is as important as

your business registration number with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). 

TIN is to be generated by tax office for the purposes of identifying the tax payers’ records and other issues affecting taxes payable to Federal Govt. such as VAT, Withholding Tax (WHT), Companies Income Tax (CIT), Educational Tax, etc.
As one of the major requirements to open a new corporate bank account as at today and to continue the operation on existing ones, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has mandated all banks to request from their corporate customers, this same TIN.

Each company is expected to apply for TIN in writing to FIRS, after obtaining the following forms from tax office.
a. VAT registration form
b. Tax Payers Registration Input Form
c. Questionnaire form or its sample – as simple as information to be supplied by you while responding to the questionnaire, they are tax death trap, so it might require you to consult an expert, before you supply an answer against yourself. (Please take note of this, especially if your incorporation date is more than 18 months and or you have already opened a corporate bank account without TIN in the past)

These forms collected are to be filled, signed, sealed and be submitted to FIRS, enclosed with 2 sets of photocopies of :
a. Certificate of incorporation of the company.
b. Memorandum and articles of association.
c. Form CAC 2
d. Form CAC 7.
(Originals of all these enclosed documents must be sighted by FIRS)
Statutorily, companies older than 6 months without TIN/VAT number has violated one of the tax laws, penalty amount of N10,000.00 (Ten Thousand Naira) applies for only this singular offence, as some other offences too are likely to have been committed ignorantly. This money should be paid to the bank after collecting the form (a bill) from the tax office. Evidence of payment should be submitted to tax office for the processing of your official receipt.

After all these, a letter to officially communicate your TIN to you will be made available by FIRS. This document is a vital document for you, some of your clients and business prospects will request for it before any business relationship is established with you.

From experience, the number of days it takes to generate a TIN for you by FIRS can’t be predicted. It all depends on who handles it for you (consultant) and the particular tax station approached to work etc. While some take less than 48 hours, some take more than 3 weeks.

Officially, no payment is required to generate you a TIN from any tax office, but where you have involved a third party either a consultant or tax officers, you might be presented a bill, but this does not in any way go into government coffers.

However, the later you act on tax matters, the more the penalties accrued.

Read 9976 times Last modified on Tuesday, 14 July 2015 18:36
Bodun Oshunlana

He is an Associate of Accounting Techincians (AAT) and Associate of Chartered Accountants (ACA) of ICAN. He has worked as a Bank Manager, External Auditor, Financial Consultant and Tax Practitioner. In 20 years, he has worked in various industries such as NGO, Insurance, Banking, Auditing and international work experience with PriceWaterhouseCoopers .

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