Tax Audit Defense Strategies: Responding to Audit Findings and Assessments for Nigerian Businesses.


For Nigerian businesses, a tax audit by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) can be a complex and challenging process. Responding effectively to audit findings and assessments is crucial to ensure a fair resolution and minimize potential tax liabilities. In this article, we will explore key strategies for Nigerian businesses to respond to audit findings and assessments and navigate the tax audit defense process successfully.

  • Understand the Audit Findings:

The first step in developing a robust tax audit defense strategy is to thoroughly understand the audit findings. Review the audit report carefully and seek clarification from the FIRS auditors if any aspects are unclear. Understanding the audit findings enables businesses to identify potential areas of contention and formulate appropriate responses.

  • Engage Professional Tax Advisors:

Engaging experienced tax advisors is crucial when responding to tax audit findings and assessments. Tax professionals can analyze the audit report, identify areas of concern, and provide expert guidance on the best course of action. Their expertise can help businesses navigate complex tax regulations and present a well-structured defense.

  • Gather Supporting Documentation:

Compile all supporting documentation to validate the tax positions taken in the original tax returns. Robust documentation is critical for substantiating claims and challenging any disputed findings. Comprehensive documentation demonstrates transparency and strengthens the credibility of the company’s tax positions.

  • Respond Promptly and Professionally:

Timeliness is of the essence in responding to the FIRS’s audit findings and assessments. Avoid unnecessary delays as this may negatively impact the tax audit defense process. Respond professionally and respectfully to all communications from the tax authorities. A professional demeanor helps build a positive relationship with the FIRS auditors during the defense process.

  • Consider the Right Channels for Communication:

Choose the appropriate channels for communication with the tax authorities. Written responses are often the preferred method to ensure clarity and accuracy in the company’s defense. However, in some cases, face-to-face meetings may be necessary to address complex issues effectively.

  • Provide Clear and Detailed Explanations:

When disputing audit findings, provide clear and detailed explanations supported by the relevant documentation. Address each point raised in the audit report comprehensively, providing a coherent and convincing defense. Avoid vague or ambiguous responses that could raise further questions.

  • Negotiate and Reach a Resolution:

In some instances, negotiation with the FIRS may be necessary to reach a resolution. This could involve presenting alternative interpretations of tax regulations or offering to settle disputed amounts through a mutually agreeable compromise. Negotiation can lead to a more favorable outcome for both parties.

  • Appeal if Necessary:

If disagreements persist despite the tax audit defense efforts, businesses have the right to appeal the audit findings. Engage tax advisors to prepare a strong appeal case, adhering to the FIRS’s appeal procedures and timelines. An appeal presents an opportunity for an independent review of the tax audit findings.


An effective tax audit defense strategy is essential for Nigerian businesses to navigate the tax audit process successfully. By understanding the audit findings, engaging professional tax advisors, gathering supporting documentation, responding promptly and professionally, considering the right channels for communication, providing clear explanations, negotiating where appropriate, and appealing if necessary, businesses can protect their interests during a tax audit. As a reputable accounting firm, we are committed to supporting Nigerian businesses in developing robust tax audit defense strategies and ensuring compliance with tax laws.

Remember, a proactive approach to tax audit defense can help businesses maintain their financial stability and reputation in the Nigerian business landscape.

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.