PAYE Taxation Explained: What Every Employer Should Know.

How To Work Out PAYE Tax


For businesses operating in Nigeria, understanding and complying with Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) taxation is not just a legal requirement; it is a fundamental aspect of responsible corporate citizenship. PAYE tax, which involves deducting income tax from employees’ salaries and remitting it to the government, plays a pivotal role in the country’s revenue generation. In this article, we will demystify PAYE taxation and provide employers with the essential knowledge they need to navigate this intricate system.

What is PAYE Tax?

PAYE tax is a mechanism by which employers deduct a portion of their employees’ income at source and remit it to the relevant tax authority. In Nigeria, this tax authority is the State Inland Revenue Service (SIRS) at the state level. The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) oversees PAYE tax for federal government employees.

Key Elements of PAYE Taxation:

  1. Taxable Income: PAYE tax is calculated based on an employee’s taxable income, which includes their salary, wages, bonuses, allowances and certain benefits in kind.
  2. Tax Bands: Nigeria has progressive tax bands, which means that individuals with higher incomes pay a higher percentage of their income as tax. Employers must use the correct tax bands when calculating deductions.
  3. Deductions and Exemptions: Certain deductions and exemptions can reduce an employee’s taxable income. It is essential for employers to be aware of these deductions and exemptions to ensure accurate tax calculations.
  4. Monthly Remittances: Employers are responsible for deducting the correct amount of PAYE tax from employees’ salaries every month and remitting it to the relevant tax authority within the stipulated time frame.
  5. Annual Returns: Employers must also submit annual PAYE tax returns to the tax authority, summarizing the total deductions made for each employee throughout the year.
  6. Employee Records: Maintaining accurate records of employees’ earnings, deductions and remittances is crucial for PAYE tax compliance. These records should be kept for a specified period.

How Employers Can Ensure PAYE Tax Compliance:

  1. Stay Informed: Keep abreast of changes in tax laws and regulations. Both federal and state governments can make amendments that affect PAYE tax.
  2. Accurate Record-Keeping: Maintain meticulous records of each employee’s earnings, deductions and remittances. Reliable record-keeping is essential during audits.
  3. Timely Remittances: Ensure that PAYE tax deductions are remitted to the appropriate tax authority on time. Delays can result in penalties and interest charges.
  4. Employee Education: Educate employees about PAYE tax deductions, ensuring transparency and understanding among your workforce.
  5. Seek Professional Guidance: If in doubt about any aspect of PAYE tax, consult tax professionals or engage with the State Inland Revenue Service for clarification.


PAYE taxation is a fundamental part of Nigeria’s tax system, and employers have a crucial role to play in ensuring compliance. By understanding the key elements of PAYE tax, staying informed about changes in tax laws and maintaining accurate records, employers can navigate this system effectively. It is essential not only for legal compliance but also for fostering responsible corporate citizenship and contributing to Nigeria’s economic development.

Employers are encouraged to collaborate with the State Inland Revenue Service (SIRS) for guidance, as SIRS serves as a valuable resource for businesses seeking to fulfill their PAYE tax obligations accurately and efficiently. In doing so, businesses can contribute to the growth and prosperity of Nigeria while fostering a transparent and supportive tax environment.

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.