By, Yinka Ogunubi
As you must already be aware, The Finance Bill currently passed by NASS amends sections 33, 49 & 58 of the Personal Income Tax Act. Hence, individuals are required to produce their Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) before they can operate new or existing bank accounts in Nigeria.
According to the Minister of Finance, the bill will take effect from the 2nd of Jan 2020. Meaning there is likelihood that banks will start asking customers to provide their TIN from that date. In other not to shut down the system, there’s likely to be a grace period to allow for individuals to obtain the TIN. It is not an issue for Corporate Accounts because TIN is already a mandatory requirement. How long this “Grace Period” would be is any one’s guess. But if you have a bank account, it is important that you pay attention.
If you are an employee of an organisation that remits PAYE, then it means you already have some form of tax identification from the State Internal Revenue Service. My expectation is that this number should suffice in the interim pending effort by the JTB to harmonize TINs.
If you are a consultant and you have done business with government or any organisation where WHT was deducted, then it means you must have at some point provided a TIN because the system is automated. Get your TIN number and validate it on the FIRS website
If you are not in any of these categories or if you are a student or self employed, you will be required to obtain a TIN. According to the @OfficialJTBNg
Individuals are automatically assigned with a TIN based on their BVN or NIN. Meaning you will need a BVN or NIN to get a TIN.
Since I already have a BVN and NIN, I tried using the verification tool on the JTB website to verify if truly a TIN has been assigned to me and it came out with “No Records Found”. All these will need to be tidied up before sections of the bill as regards the PITA is implemented.
Obtaining the TIN is free. Resist any attempt by anyone to make you pay for it. Someone ask why should students get TIN. Well age is not a factor when determining whether or not a person pays income tax. If a teenager receives money from a company, he’s liable to pay income tax.
The only relief you get is if your income falls below a certain threshold or if your income is of a certain kind that is tax exempt.
For those who want to verify their TIN or to know if they have one, you can go to this website.
My expectation is that between now and whenever the law comes into effect, all efforts must be put into ensure a seamless process of obtaining and verifying TIN for individuals. If someone has already enrolled into the BVN and has an NIN, then the TIN should be automatic.