VAT Compliance for Professional Service Providers in Nigeria.

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Professional service providers in Nigeria, such as consultants, lawyers, accountants, and IT professionals, play a vital role in supporting businesses and individuals with their expertise. Like any other businesses, professional service providers are subject to Value Added Tax (VAT) regulations and must comply with VAT laws to maintain financial integrity and avoid penalties.

  • Understanding VAT for Professional Service Providers:

VAT is a consumption tax levied on the value added to goods and services at each stage of the supply chain. For professional service providers, VAT applies to the services they offer to clients.

  • VAT Registration:

Professional service providers in Nigeria are required to register for VAT with the Nigerian Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) once their annual turnover exceeds the mandatory VAT registration threshold (currently ₦25 million). Voluntary registration is also available for providers below the threshold to avail of input VAT recovery benefits.

  • VAT on Professional Services:

Professional service providers must charge VAT on their taxable services. The VAT rate is currently 7.5% in Nigeria. When invoicing clients, providers should clearly state the VAT amount separately.

  • Input VAT Recovery:

Proper record-keeping and VAT coding of expenses are essential for successful input VAT recovery. Providers should maintain detailed records of all business-related expenses to maximize input VAT credits.

  • VAT Invoicing:

Professional service providers must issue VAT invoices to their clients for taxable services rendered. VAT invoices should comply with the requirements outlined by the tax authorities.

  • VAT on Retainership Services:

Providers offering retainership services should be aware of the VAT treatment. VAT becomes due on the invoice date, not the actual service date, for retainership agreements.

  • VAT Treatment of Disbursements:

Professional service providers often incur disbursements on behalf of clients, such as travel expenses or government fees. The VAT treatment of disbursements should be carefully managed to ensure accurate VAT reporting.

  • Compliance with VAT Filing and Reporting:

Providers must file their VAT returns promptly, typically on a monthly or quarterly basis, depending on their turnover. Timely VAT filing and reporting are crucial to avoid penalties.

  • Collaboration with Tax Professionals:

Navigating VAT compliance in the professional service industry can be complex. Engaging with tax professionals or accounting experts can provide valuable guidance, ensuring providers adhere to VAT regulations and optimize input VAT recovery.


VAT compliance is crucial for professional service providers in Nigeria to maintain financial integrity, meet their tax obligations, and avoid penalties. Understanding VAT regulations, proper record-keeping, VAT invoicing, input VAT recovery, and compliance with VAT filing requirements are vital for successful 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, You can also reach us via WhatsApp at +2348038460036.