How itinerant workers are being taxed in Nigeria

The Personal Income Tax Act Cap P8 LFN 2004 (as amended) defines an itinerant worker as an individual irrespective of his status who works at any time in any State during a year of assessment (other than as a member of the armed forces) for wages, salaries or livelihood by working in more than one State and work for a minimum of twenty (20) days in at least three (3) months of every assessment year.

Section 2 of the Act provides that the Relevant Tax Authority (RTA) in a State shall have powers to collect tax under this Act from itinerant workers. In other words, tax may be collected for any year by any State in which the itinerant worker is found during the year, provided that:

  1. In an assessment for any year upon an itinerant worker, credit shall be given against the tax payable, but not exceeding the amount thereof, for any income tax already paid by him to any other tax authority for the same year.
  2. Collection of so much of any tax imposed in a territory on an itinerant worker for a year of assessment as remains unpaid on the itinerant worker leaving that territory during that year shall remain in abeyance during his absence from that territory, and if he returns to that territory having during his absence paid tax in some other territory for that year, credit shall be given against any unpaid tax in the first-mentioned territory, but not exceeding that unpaid amount, for the tax paid in that other territory.

ILLUSTRATION

XYZ, an employee of a Nigerian company, spends the first 6 months in the Lagos branch of the company and the other 6 months of the year in Edo.

The 2 RTAs have the authority to assess the employee to tax. However, credit will granted by either of the RTAs based on the tax already paid to the other RTA.

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