FIRS Tax Incentives for Research and Development: Encouraging Innovation in Nigeria.

Research & Development


Innovation is a driving force behind economic growth and competitiveness in today’s global landscape. Recognizing the importance of fostering innovation, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in Nigeria has introduced tax incentives to encourage Research and Development (R&D) activities. These incentives aim to stimulate R&D investment, promote technological advancement and boost Nigeria’s overall economic development. In this article, we will explore the FIRS tax incentives for R&D and how they play a vital role in encouraging innovation within Nigeria.

Understanding R&D Tax Incentives:

R&D tax incentives are government-backed programs that provide tax benefits to businesses engaged in research and development activities. These incentives typically come in the form of tax deductions, credits or reduced tax rates and they serve several key purposes:

  1. Promoting Innovation: R&D incentives encourage businesses to invest in innovative projects, leading to the creation of new products, services and technologies.
  2. Economic Growth: By supporting R&D efforts, governments aim to boost economic growth by fostering a culture of innovation and competitiveness.
  3. Job Creation: R&D activities often lead to the creation of high-skilled jobs, contributing to overall employment growth.
  4. Global Competitiveness: Encouraging innovation through tax incentives helps countries remain competitive on the global stage.

FIRS R&D Tax Incentives in Nigeria:

FIRS offers several tax incentives designed to encourage R&D activities in Nigeria:

  1. R&D Tax Credit: Businesses engaged in eligible R&D activities can claim a tax credit equivalent to a percentage of their R&D expenditures. This credit reduces the overall tax liability of the business, making R&D more financially feasible.
  2. Capital Allowances: Firms can claim capital allowances on qualifying R&D assets, such as equipment and facilities used exclusively for R&D purposes. These allowances reduce taxable profits and consequently, the tax liability.
  3. Double Deduction for R&D Expenses: FIRS allows businesses to deduct R&D expenses twice, effectively reducing the taxable income associated with R&D activities.
  4. Tax Exemptions for R&D Grants: Income derived from research grants and funding sources specifically for R&D projects may be exempt from income tax.

Eligibility and Compliance:

To qualify for FIRS R&D tax incentives, businesses must meet certain eligibility criteria and comply with reporting and documentation requirements:

  1. Eligible Activities: R&D activities must meet the definition provided by FIRS, which typically includes activities focused on innovation, product development and technology advancement.
  2. Documentation: Businesses must maintain detailed records of R&D projects, expenditures and outcomes. Proper documentation is essential to support claims for tax incentives.
  3. Application Process: Businesses must formally apply for R&D tax incentives with FIRS, providing the necessary documentation and evidence of eligible R&D activities.
  4. Compliance: Full compliance with tax laws and regulations is a prerequisite for accessing R&D tax incentives.


FIRS tax incentives for Research and Development play a pivotal role in encouraging innovation and technological advancement within Nigeria. By providing financial benefits to businesses engaged in R&D activities, these incentives stimulate investment in innovation, foster economic growth and position Nigeria as a competitive player in the global market. Businesses should actively explore and leverage these incentives to drive their R&D efforts, not only for financial gain but also for contributing to Nigeria’s long-term economic prosperity through innovation and technological excellence.

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.