Are you ready for the 2021 business year?

Happy new year Nigeria!!! Happy new year world!!!

We do hope you had that well deserved rest this holiday season after all the challenges of the year 2020.

We are reopening for the business year today and this is us, being thankful still, for this relationship with you.

We wish you a very happy, healthy, blessed and prosperous new year, 2021. May the new year favour us all in the most important areas of our lives. Amen.

Here are some things that have fallen due in Nigeria’s business terrain. You should know about them in order to position your self/ business to navigate or take advantage of them this new year:

The #OneAfricanMarket of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has been launched in earnest and has commenced trading since 1 January 2021. Opportunities abound for easy trade and low or no custom tariffs among 1.2 billion Africans in all African countries. For more information, visit

This ebook prepared by the African Union and other partners will also help you understand what the AfCFTA is all about in simple language.

Secondly, Nigeria’s Finance Act 2020, the second in 2 years (after the Finance Act 2019) has been signed into law alongside Nigeria’s N13.588 trillion ‘Budget of Economic Recovery and Resilience’, on 31 December 2020, by President Muhammad Buhari.

Both the Finance Act 2020 and the Budget, also became effective on 1 January 2021. We had originally compiled the highlights of the first draft of the Bill here – although several of the proposals did not make it to the signed version of the bill, while many other new provisions were included and some other tax laws amended. We have also compiled most of the important things you need to know about the newly signed Finance Act 2020 in the video below:

We will look out for any further changes once the law is published in a gazette and notify you accordingly.

Thirdly, this is the time for filing your yearly employer tax returns.

On or before 31 January every year, all enterprises, companies or incorporated trustees in Nigeria are expected to voluntarily file their annual returns under the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) Cap P8 LFN 2004 (as amended). Failure to file these returns within the stipulated time attracts a penalty of NGN500,000 for companies and NGN50,000 for individuals.

The LIRS’ e-filing platform for filing of annual returns can be accessed via Once the webpage opens, the user should login and follow the self-explanatory prompts until the returns are uploaded and submitted. Please note that the user would need his or her organisation’s RC/BN/IT number or LIRS issued taxpayer ID, to login or register on the platform.

The platform basically requests for upload of information (using the templates provided) on the following:

  1. Annual return form H1.
  2. Income projections for employees for the new fiscal year.
  3. Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) payment schedule for the past year (or form G).
  4. Withholding tax payment schedule.

For further guidance on how to use the e-filing platform, please click here

For help with filing your employer tax returns, please send an email to

Our post on 2020 EMPLOYER ANNUAL RETURNS – ARE YOU READY? explains a lot of things you need to know about filing your annual employer and taxpayer returns.

We wish you a happy and prosperous new year once again!