Tax Audit and Investigation Procedures by Lagos Internal Revenue Service.

Tax Audit and Investigation: What a taxpayer should expect - Taxaide


Tax audits and investigations are essential components of a robust tax administration system, aimed at ensuring tax compliance and fairness in revenue collection. In Lagos State, the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) plays a pivotal role in conducting tax audits and investigations to assess taxpayers’ compliance with tax laws. In this article, we will delve into the tax audit and investigation procedures employed by the LIRS, shedding light on their significance, scope, and the impact on taxpayers and the state’s revenue collection.

  • Understanding Tax Audits and Investigations:

Tax audits and investigations are systematic examinations of taxpayers’ financial records, transactions, and tax returns to verify the accuracy and completeness of their reported income and tax liabilities. These procedures are carried out to ensure that taxpayers are fulfilling their tax obligations in line with the relevant tax laws and regulations. While audits are generally routine and may focus on specific tax issues, investigations are more extensive and may involve suspected cases of tax evasion or fraud.

  • Selection of Taxpayers for Audit:

The LIRS employs various methods to select taxpayers for audit or investigation. These methods include random selection, risk-based selection, and information-based selection. Random selection ensures that audits are conducted without bias, while risk-based selection targets taxpayers with a higher likelihood of non-compliance based on predefined risk factors. Information-based selection relies on data obtained from various sources, such as financial institutions, to identify discrepancies in reported income or transactions.

  • Scope of Tax Audits and Investigations:

During a tax audit, the LIRS examines a taxpayer’s financial records, accounting books, and supporting documents to verify the accuracy of their tax returns. Auditors may request additional information or conduct interviews with key personnel to gain a comprehensive understanding of the taxpayer’s financial activities. In contrast, tax investigations delve deeper into suspected cases of tax evasion, fraud, or non-compliance. Investigators may employ surveillance, data analysis, and forensic accounting techniques to gather evidence and build a case against non-compliant taxpayers.

  • Voluntary Compliance and Cooperation:

The LIRS encourages voluntary compliance among taxpayers and cooperation during tax audits and investigations. Taxpayers are expected to provide accurate and complete information promptly when requested by the tax authorities. Full cooperation not only expedites the process but also reflects a commitment to maintaining transparency and adherence to tax laws.

  • Resolution of Discrepancies and Disputes:

If discrepancies are identified during an audit or investigation, taxpayers have the opportunity to address and resolve these issues. The LIRS may issue an assessment of additional taxes, penalties, or interest if necessary. Taxpayers who disagree with the findings can engage in dispute resolution processes, such as filing an objection or appealing the assessment. These mechanisms provide taxpayers with a fair and transparent process to resolve any disagreements with the tax authorities.

  • Impact on Taxpayers and Revenue Collection:

Tax audits and investigations serve as a deterrent against tax evasion and non-compliance. They contribute to a level playing field for all taxpayers, ensuring that everyone pays their fair share of taxes. By identifying and addressing non-compliance, the LIRS strengthens revenue collection, providing critical resources for public services, infrastructure development, and social welfare programs.


Tax audits and investigations are essential tools in the hands of the Lagos Internal Revenue Service to maintain the integrity of the tax system in Lagos State. These procedures promote voluntary compliance, detect tax evasion, and ensure fairness in tax administration. For taxpayers, it is crucial to maintain accurate and complete records, cooperate with tax authorities during audits, and resolve any discrepancies promptly. By upholding the principles of transparency, accountability, and compliance, businesses and individuals can contribute to the growth and development of Lagos State while fostering a more robust and sustainable economic environment for all.

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.