Understanding Reverse Charge Mechanism for VAT in Nigeria.

VAT Reverse Charge Mechanism - Financials and Accounting Blog


Value Added Tax (VAT) is a crucial aspect of Nigeria’s tax system, and businesses are required to comply with VAT regulations to ensure smooth operations and financial integrity. One such important provision is the Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM). The RCM is a unique tax mechanism that shifts the responsibility for accounting and remitting VAT from the supplier to the recipient of goods or services. As a reputable accounting firm in Nigeria, we aim to demystify the Reverse Charge Mechanism for VAT and guide businesses on its implications and compliance requirements.

How the Reverse Charge Mechanism Works:

Under the Reverse Charge Mechanism, the liability for VAT shifts from the supplier to the recipient of goods or services. This mechanism is applied in specific situations, such as:

  • Importation of Services: When a Nigerian business imports services from a non-resident service provider, the recipient (importer) is responsible for accounting and remitting VAT instead of the non-resident supplier.
  • Designated Goods and Services: The Nigerian tax authorities may designate certain goods or services where the recipient must account for VAT instead of the supplier.

Applicability of the Reverse Charge Mechanism:

The Reverse Charge Mechanism is applied to specific supplies designated by the tax authorities. It is typically implemented in industries or sectors with potential VAT compliance challenges. Businesses must be aware of the goods or services that fall under the Reverse Charge Mechanism to ensure compliance.

Impact on VAT Compliance:

The Reverse Charge Mechanism significantly impacts VAT compliance for businesses. Recipient businesses must ensure they correctly account for and report VAT under the RCM. Proper record-keeping and understanding the VAT implications for designated goods or services are essential to comply with this mechanism.

Input VAT Recovery:

For businesses subject to the Reverse Charge Mechanism, input VAT on goods and services purchased can be recovered if the expenses are related to taxable supplies made by the recipient. Proper documentation and adherence to VAT regulations are vital to claim input VAT credits.

Collaboration with Tax Professionals:

Navigating the complexities of the Reverse Charge Mechanism can be challenging, especially for businesses with limited resources. Engaging with tax professionals or VAT specialists can provide invaluable guidance, ensuring businesses comply with RCM requirements and optimize VAT recovery opportunities.

Education and Awareness:

Understanding the Reverse Charge Mechanism is crucial for businesses to avoid non-compliance issues and potential penalties. Businesses should invest in educating their finance and accounting teams about the RCM and its implications on VAT accounting and reporting.


The Reverse Charge Mechanism is an essential provision in Nigeria’s VAT system that shifts the responsibility for VAT accounting and remittance from the supplier to the recipient in specific situations. Businesses must be well-informed about the applicability and implications of the RCM to ensure accurate VAT compliance.

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, www.sunmoladavid.com. You can also reach us via WhatsApp at +2348038460036.