Conducting Internal Tax Audits: Proactive Measures to Prepare for a FIRS Audit.

Top 8 Tax Audit Triggers - Catching the Attention of the IRS - Murray Moyer  PLLC


In the dynamic landscape of Nigerian taxation, conducting internal tax audits has evolved from a mere compliance exercise to a strategic initiative for businesses. The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) conducts regular tax audits to ensure compliance with tax laws and regulations. To proactively address potential issues and minimize risks, Nigerian businesses are increasingly recognizing the value of conducting internal tax audits. In this article, we will delve into the significance of internal tax audits, their benefits, and the proactive measures businesses can take to prepare for a potential FIRS audit.

The Importance of Internal Tax Audits:

  1. Early Identification of Issues: Internal tax audits allow businesses to identify and address tax-related issues before they escalate. This proactive approach prevents potential non-compliance and the resulting penalties.
  2. Enhanced Financial Management: Conducting regular internal tax audits promotes accurate financial record-keeping and management, leading to improved financial transparency and decision-making.
  3. Risk Mitigation: Identifying tax risks and weaknesses enables businesses to take corrective actions promptly, reducing the likelihood of adverse findings during a FIRS audit.
  4. Operational Efficiency: Streamlining tax-related processes through internal audits improves operational efficiency and ensures that tax obligations are met in a timely manner.

Proactive Measures for Preparing for a FIRS Audit through Internal Tax Audits:

  1. Review Tax Compliance: Thoroughly assess your business’s tax compliance status by reviewing tax returns, payments, and filings. Identify any discrepancies and address them promptly.
  2. Check Record-Keeping: Ensure that all financial records, invoices, receipts, and tax-related documents are well-organized and readily accessible. Comprehensive documentation is crucial during an audit.
  3. Evaluate Transfer Pricing: If your business engages in cross-border transactions, review transfer pricing documentation to ensure compliance with regulations and arm’s length principles.
  4. Assess Deductions and Exemptions: Examine deductions, exemptions, and incentives claimed to verify their accuracy and compliance with relevant tax laws.
  5. Review Withholding Tax Compliance: Assess withholding tax compliance for payments made to vendors, contractors, and employees. Verify proper withholding and remittance.
  6. Explore Tax Planning Opportunities: Internal audits provide insights into your business’s tax position. Explore legitimate tax planning opportunities to optimize your tax liability.
  7. Assess PE Risks: If your business operates internationally, evaluate potential Permanent Establishment (PE) risks and take corrective actions to mitigate such risks.
  8. Employee Training: Educate your finance and tax teams about the latest tax regulations and changes. Well-informed teams can better navigate tax audits and compliance.
  9. Strengthen Internal Controls: Establish robust internal controls to prevent errors and promote accurate tax reporting. Internal controls also deter fraudulent activities.
  10. Engage Professional Support: Collaborate with experienced tax professionals or accounting firms to conduct thorough internal tax audits. Their expertise ensures comprehensive reviews and accurate assessments.


Conducting internal tax audits is a proactive and strategic step that positions Nigerian businesses for successful interactions with the FIRS. By identifying and addressing potential tax issues early, businesses can enhance their tax compliance, financial transparency, and operational efficiency. Internal tax audits not only mitigate risks but also contribute to a culture of responsible financial management and compliance.

Remember, a well-prepared business not only navigates audits smoothly but also establishes a reputation for transparency and ethical business practices in the Nigerian market.

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.