Changes in Personal Income Taxation: Nigeria Finance Act 2021


The Nigeria Finance Act 2021 ushered in significant changes to the country’s tax landscape, including various provisions that impact personal income taxation. As an established accounting firm in Nigeria, we aim to shed light on the key modifications introduced by the Finance Act 2021 and their implications for individuals. Understanding these changes is crucial for taxpayers to optimize their financial planning and compliance with the new tax regime.

1. Introduction of the New Electronic Money Transfer Levy:

One of the notable changes in personal income taxation is the introduction of the Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL). The Act imposes a 0.5% levy on the value of electronic money transfers above ₦10,000. This means that individuals and businesses engaging in electronic transactions will be subject to this levy, which is aimed at enhancing tax revenue and promoting a cashless economy.

While the EMTL may lead to slightly increased costs for electronic transactions, it also signifies the government’s effort to broaden the tax base and fund public infrastructure and social services.

2. Taxation of Non-Resident Persons:

The Finance Act 2021 introduced significant amendments to the taxation of non-resident persons in Nigeria. Non-resident individuals providing technical, management, consultancy, or professional services will now be subject to a final withholding tax of 10%. This tax is based on the gross income earned from such services, making the taxation process simpler and more efficient.

The Act also clarifies the definition of “significant economic presence” for non-resident companies, expanding the scope of taxable income in Nigeria. This measure is designed to ensure that non-resident entities that derive income from Nigeria are subject to appropriate taxation.

3. New Compliance Threshold for Employees:

The Finance Act 2021 increased the minimum annual gross income threshold for personal income tax compliance. Employees earning an annual income of ₦25,000 or less are now exempt from personal income tax. This change seeks to reduce the tax burden on low-income earners and improve their disposable income.

For individuals earning between ₦25,001 and ₦100,000 annually, the Act introduced a lower tax rate of 5%. This progressive tax structure aims to provide relief for mid-income earners.

4. Retirement Savings Contributions:

The Finance Act 2021 encourages retirement savings by allowing contributions to pension schemes and retirement savings accounts as tax-deductible expenses. This move provides a tax incentive for individuals to save for their retirement, ensuring a secure financial future.

Taxpayers can claim contributions of up to 25% of their income as a deduction, subject to specific limits. This provision fosters a culture of long-term financial planning and retirement security among Nigerian taxpayers.


The Nigeria Finance Act 2021 brought about significant changes in personal income taxation, affecting individuals and businesses alike. With the introduction of the Electronic Money Transfer Levy, taxation of non-resident persons, revised compliance thresholds for employees, and tax deductions for retirement savings, taxpayers must be well-informed to navigate the new tax regime effectively.

As a reputable accounting firm in Nigeria, we recommend that individuals seek professional guidance to ensure compliance with the new tax provisions while optimizing their financial planning. Adapting to these changes will not only facilitate a smoother tax filing process but also contribute to the government’s efforts to enhance tax revenue and promote economic development in Nigeria. By staying abreast of these modifications, taxpayers can position themselves for a more financially secure future.

For professional advice on Accountancy, Transfer Pricing, Tax, Assurance, Outsourcing, Company Registration, and CAC matters, please contact Sunmola David & CO (Chartered Accountants & Tax Practitioners) at You can also reach us via WhatsApp at +2348038460036.