Paying taxes for an unused business name1 min read

Dear Zainab,

There’s this business name I registered a while ago although I have not used it for any business, my fiancé works at a bank and she told me I would still be fined for not paying taxes. Is that true? I’ve not even used it for anything at all oh!

Futuristic Businessman.

Hello Futuristic Businessman,
You have a wise fiancé, can’t say you share the same attribute though. You think registering a business name makes you a “big man?” If you were not ready to do business, why did you register a business name?

The fact that you have not used a business name for something does not exclude you from filing your taxes. For a business name like yours, you need to have been filing your monthly Value Added Tax (VAT).

As soon as you register a business entity in Nigeria, you are expected to start making VAT filing returns. VAT is paid by your customers on whatever money they pay you. Where a business does not earn revenue in a month, or like you, the business hasn’t started operations, the business is still expected to file a NIL return, i.e., you go to the FIRS office nearest to you and fill a VAT returns forming stating you made no earnings that month.
Failure to file your VAT results in a cumulative N5,000 fine for every unpaid month.

My 2 cents? Visit the FIRS office closest to you to sort your affairs.