CIT and the Entertainment Industry: Tax Implications for Creative Artists and Performers in Nigeria.

The Rise of Nigerian Entertainment Industry: A Look into its Global Impact


The Nigerian entertainment industry, renowned globally for its vibrant music, film and performing arts sectors, is a major contributor to the nation’s cultural identity and economy. While creative artists and performers are celebrated for their talents, they must also navigate the tax landscape to ensure compliance with the law. The Companies Income Tax (CIT) Act, among other tax regulations, governs the tax implications for individuals and businesses operating in the entertainment industry in Nigeria. In this article, we will delve into the key tax considerations that creative artists and performers should be aware of.

Taxation of Creative Artists and Performers:

  1. Companies Income Tax (CIT): For creative artists and performers who operate as companies, CIT is applicable. The standard CIT rate is 30% of taxable profits. To determine taxable income, expenses directly related to their entertainment activities, such as studio costs, marketing expenses and performance-related expenditures, can be deducted.
  2. Personal Income Tax (PIT): Individual artists and performers are subject to Personal Income Tax (PIT) on their earnings. They are required to file PIT returns annually and pay taxes on income from various sources, including performances, endorsements and royalties.
  3. Value Added Tax (VAT): VAT may apply to certain entertainment services, such as ticket sales for live performances, although there are exemptions for specific cultural and entertainment activities.
  4. Withholding Tax (WHT): Event organizers, talent agencies, and other entities making payments to artists and performers may be required to deduct and remit withholding tax on these payments, typically at a rate of 10%.
  5. Customs Duties: Importation of musical instruments and equipment may attract customs duties, which should be considered when planning international tours or importing equipment.

Tax Planning and Compliance:

To effectively manage their tax obligations and optimize their financial performance, creative artists and performers in Nigeria should consider the following strategies:

  1. Accurate Record-Keeping: Maintain meticulous records of all income and expenses related to their artistic and performing activities. Accurate record-keeping is essential for tax compliance and audit defense.
  2. Separate Accounting: Distinguish personal and business finances to ensure that tax obligations are met accurately. Consider working with accountants and tax professionals experienced in the entertainment industry.
  3. Withholding Tax Management: Collaborate with event organizers and talent agencies to ensure proper withholding tax deductions and remittances on income received.
  4. Tax Credits and Deductions: Explore available tax credits and deductions, such as those for contributions to recognized cultural and artistic organizations.
  5. Foreign Taxation: Be aware of international tax implications if performing or earning income abroad. Ensure compliance with tax regulations in other countries.
  6. Professional Guidance: Seek advice from tax experts and legal counsel specializing in the entertainment industry to navigate complex tax regulations effectively.


While creative artists and performers in Nigeria are celebrated for their artistic contributions, they must also fulfill their tax obligations to maintain financial health and ensure compliance with the law. Understanding the tax implications of their earnings and diligently following tax regulations is essential. By aligning their financial strategies with the provisions of the CIT Act and other relevant tax laws, artists and performers can continue to thrive in the dynamic Nigerian entertainment industry.

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.