Understanding the Key Changes in Nigeria Finance Act 2019: Implications for Businesses

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The Nigeria Finance Act 2019 introduced significant changes to the country’s tax and fiscal landscape, with far-reaching implications for businesses operating in Nigeria. As an esteemed accounting firm in Nigeria, we believe it is crucial for businesses to be well-informed about these changes to ensure compliance and optimize their financial strategies. In this article, we will delve into the key amendments brought about by the Finance Act 2019 and explore their implications for businesses.


  1. Value Added Tax (VAT) Rate Increase


One of the most notable changes introduced by the Finance Act 2019 was the increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate from 5% to 7.5%. This increase aims to boost government revenue and enhance social development initiatives. The implication for businesses is that they must adjust their accounting systems to accommodate the new VAT rate, update pricing strategies, and communicate the changes transparently to their customers.


  1. Digital Economy Taxation


The Finance Act 2019 expanded the scope of tax in the digital economy by introducing the concept of Significant Economic Presence (SEP). This means that foreign companies with a significant economic presence in Nigeria, but without a physical presence, are now subject to tax on income generated from Nigerian customers. This move seeks to level the playing field for Nigerian businesses and generate additional revenue. For businesses operating in the digital sphere, compliance with these regulations is crucial to avoid potential tax penalties.


  1. Tax Exemption for Small Businesses


To promote the growth of small businesses, the Finance Act 2019 granted tax exemptions to companies with an annual turnover of 25 million Naira or less. This exemption applies to Companies Income Tax (CIT), and it offers a reprieve for micro and small enterprises. For eligible businesses, this provides an opportunity to reinvest and expand their operations while reducing the compliance burden.


  1. Minimum Tax Provision


The Finance Act 2019 introduced a minimum tax provision, stating that companies that have not made a profit in a given year are required to pay a minimum tax of 0.5% of their turnover. This provision was implemented to prevent companies from using accounting loopholes to avoid paying taxes when they report losses. For businesses, it is essential to understand this provision and plan accordingly to manage their tax liabilities in unprofitable years.


  1. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Amendments


The amendments to the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) regime have significant implications for businesses involved in the sale of assets such as real estate and shares. The Finance Act 2019 adjusted the basis for calculating CGT from the cost of acquisition to the fair market value as of January 1, 2018. This change might lead to higher tax liabilities for businesses, and they need to consider this when making decisions about selling assets.


  1. Tax Incentives and Relief


The Finance Act 2019 introduced several tax incentives and reliefs to promote specific sectors and encourage investment. Businesses in industries such as agriculture, infrastructure, and renewable energy may be eligible for tax incentives. Understanding these provisions and how to qualify for them can help businesses take advantage of potential cost savings and stimulate growth.




The Nigeria Finance Act 2019 brought significant changes to the country’s tax laws and fiscal policies, impacting businesses across various sectors. Staying abreast of these changes is essential for businesses to ensure compliance, mitigate risks, and optimize their financial strategies. As a reputable accounting firm in Nigeria, we encourage businesses to seek professional guidance to navigate these new regulations effectively. By understanding and adapting to the implications of the Finance Act 2019, businesses can position themselves for long-term success and contribute to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.

For professional advice on Accountancy, Transfer Pricing, Tax, Assurance, Outsourcing, Company Registration, and CAC matters, please contact Sunmola David & CO (Chartered Accountants & Tax Practitioners) at www.sunmoladavid.com. You can also reach us via WhatsApp at +2348038460036.