CIT and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): Special Provisions and Tax Benefits.


Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Nigeria’s economy, contributing significantly to employment generation, innovation, and economic growth. Recognizing the vital role SMEs play, the Nigerian government has implemented special provisions and tax benefits under the Companies Income Tax (CIT) Act to support the growth and development of these businesses. In this article, we will explore the special provisions and tax benefits available to SMEs in Nigeria.

Special Provisions for SMEs:

  1. Turnover Threshold: SMEs enjoy certain tax benefits based on their turnover. For instance, companies with an annual turnover of ₦25 million or less are exempt from paying CIT.
  2. Graduated Tax Rates: SMEs with annual turnover between ₦25 million and ₦100 million benefit from graduated CIT rates, which are lower than the standard rate applicable to larger companies.
  3. Micro Enterprises: Micro enterprises with an annual turnover of ₦5 million or less are exempt from CIT. These businesses provide vital services and goods to local communities and benefit from this tax relief.
  4. Minimal Tax: SMEs with turnover below ₦500,000 are subject to a minimal tax of 0.5% of turnover, ensuring that very small businesses are not disproportionately burdened.

Tax Benefits for SMEs:

  1. Investment Allowance: SMEs that invest in qualifying capital assets for business operations can claim investment allowance. This allows for a percentage of the qualifying expenditure to be deducted from assessable profits before calculating CIT.
  2. Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentives: SMEs engaged in research and development activities can benefit from tax incentives, including deductions for R&D expenses and tax credits.
  3. Export Incentives: SMEs involved in export activities can enjoy tax incentives, including deductions for export-related expenses and exemption from withholding tax on dividends paid to foreign shareholders.
  4. Training Costs Deduction: SMEs that invest in employee training can deduct qualifying training costs from their assessable profits, encouraging skill development.

Optimizing Tax Benefits for SMEs:

  1. Proper Documentation: Maintaining accurate records of financial transactions, expenses, and investments is crucial for claiming tax benefits accurately.
  2. Strategic Planning: SMEs should align their business operations with the specific tax incentives available to maximize benefits.
  3. Expert Guidance: Seeking professional tax advisory services can help SMEs navigate complex tax regulations and ensure accurate claims for tax benefits.
  4. Compliance: SMEs should ensure compliance with CIT Act provisions, including filing tax returns and reporting eligible tax benefits.


The Nigerian government’s focus on supporting SMEs through special provisions and tax benefits underscores the significance of these businesses in driving economic growth and job creation. By leveraging the available incentives, SMEs can optimize their tax positions, invest in growth, and contribute to the overall development of the Nigerian economy.

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