Everything you need to know about Personal Income Tax


In continuation from the first series, BusinessDay met with Femi Fashina, a senior tax officer at Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS). Fashina takes us through a step-by-step approach to calculating Personal Income Tax.

What is Personal Income Tax (PIT)?

Personal Income Tax is an amount deductible from the income of an individual based on rates in accordance with the law, for instance the PIT Act 2011 (as amended) in Nigeria.

In simple terms, PIT is the amount on income earned whether from salary, business profit, property or investment that is to be paid to the government. The obligation is a proportion of the income (tax base) hence varies.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says the tax is imposed on the income of individuals, corporate sole or body of individuals, communities, trustees or executor of any settlements.

 How do I calculate PIT?

As stated earlier, the tax rate varies with income size. Nigerian Personal Income Tax Laws states that all taxable persons are entitled to a consolidated relief allowance of 20% of gross income plus higher of 1% of gross income or N200,000. In other words, you are taxed only on a certain portion of your income.

Annual Taxable Income Rate

STEP 1: Calculate your annual income multiplying your monthly income by 12

I earn N150,000 per month, my annual income is N1,800,000

STEP 2: Account for the consolidated relief allowance of 20% gross income and N200,000

I remove 20% from N1,800,000 by multiplying by 0.8. I get N1,440,000.

The next sub-step is that I remove the N200,000  from the N1,440,000 which leaves me with N1,240,000 taxable income.


STEP 3: Refer to the Annual Taxable Income Rate to know your rate

Since your income is greater than N1.1 million but less than N1.6 million you pay 15 percent rate which translates to N186,000.

NB: You do need to calculate your tax by yourself if you find it cumbersome. The hiring tax consultant is a good way to go.

Apart from the reliefs, certain deductibles are allowed before the income or profit can be taxed. A tax consultant can help you learn more.


How do I pay my PIT?

Personal Income Tax can be paid on a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) basis or directly paid by the tax payer depending on the nature of economic engagement.

For instance, most companies pay the tax on behalf of the employees on their payroll directly to relevant tax authorities. Hence for PAYE, the tax would already have been deducted before employees are paid monthly remuneration.

On the other hand, in the case of a self-employed person tax is paid directly by the business owner to relevant tax authorities. BusinessDay correspondent was referred to the LIRS by the FIRS for Personal Income Tax concerns.

Fashina says the LIRS would issue a Form A to the business owner or self-employed to ascertain the individual’s annual income.

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