VAT Planning for Seasonal Businesses in Nigeria.


Seasonal businesses in Nigeria, such as tourism ventures, event organizers, and agricultural enterprises, experience fluctuating demand throughout the year. While these businesses may enjoy high revenue during peak seasons, they also face periods of low or no activity. Effective Value Added Tax (VAT) planning is essential for seasonal businesses to optimize their cash flow, manage VAT obligations, and ensure compliance with tax regulations.

  • Understanding Seasonal Business Patterns:

Seasonal businesses must closely analyze their sales patterns and identify peak and off-peak periods. Understanding when demand is high and when it declines will help in formulating appropriate VAT planning strategies.

  • VAT Registration and Deregistration:

Seasonal businesses should monitor their annual turnover to determine if they meet the mandatory VAT registration threshold (currently ₦25 million). If the business exceeds the threshold during peak seasons, VAT registration is required. During off-peak periods when the turnover falls below the threshold, VAT deregistration may be considered to ease compliance requirements.

  • Voluntary VAT Registration:

Even if the seasonal business does not meet the mandatory registration threshold, it may still choose to register for VAT voluntarily. Voluntary registration allows the business to recover input VAT on expenses incurred during both peak and off-peak periods, enhancing cash flow.

  • VAT Return Filing Frequency:

Seasonal businesses should consider the most appropriate VAT return filing frequency based on their turnover. While monthly VAT returns are standard for large businesses, seasonal enterprises may opt for quarterly filing during off-peak periods to reduce administrative burdens.

  • VAT Payment Timing:

Plan the timing of VAT payments to align with cash flow patterns. During peak seasons, businesses can accumulate VAT collected from customers to meet VAT payment obligations when due. Conversely, VAT payments during off-peak periods can be managed more efficiently to avoid straining cash flow.

  • Input VAT Recovery:

Efficient input VAT recovery is crucial for seasonal businesses. Proper record-keeping and VAT coding of expenses incurred during peak periods will support input VAT recovery claims, even during off-peak periods.

  • VAT on Prepayments:

Businesses that receive prepayments for goods or services during peak seasons should be cautious about VAT treatment. VAT becomes due on the prepayment date, not the supply date. Managing prepayment VAT liabilities is crucial for accurate VAT planning.

  • Collateral VAT Risks:

Seasonal businesses should be aware of collateral VAT risks, such as penalties and interest for late VAT returns or payments. Timely compliance with VAT regulations will help mitigate such risks.

  • VAT Refunds:

Seasonal businesses may be eligible for VAT refunds during off-peak periods when input VAT credits exceed output VAT liabilities. Filing VAT refund claims promptly is essential to access these funds.


Effective VAT planning is essential for seasonal businesses in Nigeria to optimize cash flow, manage VAT obligations, and comply with tax regulations. Understanding business patterns, choosing the right VAT registration status, filing frequency, and payment timing, efficient input VAT recovery, and managing collateral VAT risks are vital for successful VAT planning. As a reputable accounting firm in Nigeria, we are committed to supporting seasonal businesses in implementing robust VAT planning strategies, providing expert guidance, and ensuring their financial success throughout the highs and lows of the business cycle.

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.