How to register a foreign company for tax with FIRS

Technology has changed the way a business supplies goods or services. More so, a foreign company may not need to travel physically to conclude a transaction with a consumer in Nigeria. Another name for a foreign company is a non-resident company. In this article, we will learn how to register a foreign company for tax with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). 

Definition of a non-resident company


A non-resident company (NRC) is any company created by or under any law in force outside Nigeria. NRC is taxable in Nigeria if the NRC

  1. has a fixed base in Nigeria where the profit is attributable to it;
  2. habitually operates a business through a person in Nigeria or maintains a stock of goods in Nigeria from which a person makes regular deliveries on behalf of the company;
  3. derives income from Nigeria through digital operations in as much as it has a significant economic presence in Nigeria;
  4. involves a single contract for surveys, deliveries, installations, or construction;
  5. provides remote technical, management, consulting, or professional services to a Nigerian resident;
  6. has an artificial transaction with a related party.

Requirements to register a foreign company with FIRS

A non-resident company is subject to companies income tax where the profits accrue in, are derived from, brought into, or received in Nigeria. Although NRC is registered overseas, this type of company is not exempt from local taxes. In addition, the tax registration procedure differs from a company with foreign participation in Nigeria. The requirements for registering a non-resident company with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) are;

  1. Duly completed taxpayer registration input form 
  2. Incorporation document
  3. Application for Registration for Tax 

The relevant FIRS office for all NRCs in Nigeria is the Non-Resident Persons Tax Office in Lagos State. After registration, the taxpayer will be assigned a tax identification number (TIN) and given access to the online platforms such as EServices and TaxPro Max. Note that a taxpayer can file value added tax returns manually or via e-mail and the portal does not accept returns in foreign currency at the moment.  A foreign company may also be liable to other taxes such as companies income tax and payroll tax depending on the nature of transactions. Therefore, a professional review of the NRC activities in Nigeria will give more clarity on the company’s tax status.

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