In Nigeria, the TIN is issued by the federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS.

As an individual, you also need to be issued a TIN; but we shall be focusing on small business owners in this series and how they can register for their TIN and start filing for their value added taxes.

1. Register Your Business With CAC: As we have explained in our previous editions of ‘What Small Businesses Should Know About Paying Tax’ the first step to paying is to register it officially with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC.

As a small business owner, your business is probably a sole proprietorship, do not worry; CAC would have registered your business’ name and you would need to present the certificate to FIRS.

Without the CAC certificate, FIRS cannot issue your business a TIN number.

2. Get A stamp For Your Business: You probably did not consider this a priority in starting your business. However, for you to be registered for Value Added Tax, you must have an official stamp for your company. This is because part of the forms you will complete at the FIRS office would require your official seal.

So, now you know, go get a stamp for your small company.

3. Get A Letter-Headed Paper For Your Business: Getting a letter-headed paper for your business should have been some of the first few things you did upon setting up. Even though email has replaced paper letters these days; there is still need to have physical documents for B2B transactions and legal matters.

Your letter-head comes handy when applying for a TIN from the FIRS. You need to apply formally in writing.

4. Obtain A VAT Application Form: To apply for TIN, you need to visit the FIRST office where your business is located. Now, this is very important. There are several FIRS offices across major cities of Nigeria.

But you cannot just walk into anyone to get your TIN. You must obtain your TIN in an FIRS office within the jurisdiction of your business.

This means, if your business is situated in Iponri area of Lagos for instance, you cannot go to Aguda tax office to register for TIN. You should obtain your TIN within the FIRS office at Western Avenue.

In every FIRS office, there are tax officers in charge of VAT registration. They will issue you with forms that you must complete with the details of your type of business, your profile, address of your business etc. You will fill the form accompanied by the photocopies of your means of identification and certification of business name registration or incorporation.

Once the form is completed and submitted, your TIN should be ready in 5 – 10 working days.

(Please look out for the continuation of this series on Thursdays) This is in line with the governments declaration of Tax Thursdays to sensitise people on the need to pay their tax while the government accounts for the sums paid.