We have assisted one of our clients to obtain a ruling at the Tax Appeal Tribunal to the effect that VAT is not applicable on imported services rendered by a foreign company outside Nigeria. To the extent that the foreign provider is not carrying on business in Nigeria, there is no legal obligation to register for, or charge Nigerian VAT. Also, a Nigerian company that has not received a VAT invoice from the foreign company is not required to self-charge VAT.
This decision provides some clarity on the often disputed position of the FIRS that a Nigerian company should self-charge VAT on services received from a foreign entity even when such provider is not carrying on business in Nigeria.
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