Daily Law Tips (Tip 373) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

Tax is revenue for government and government must ensure tax payers comply and pay adequate tax. By law, government ministries, departments, agencies, parastatals and establishment or commercial bank while dealing with any person must demand from the person a valid tax clearance certificate and also verify the genuineness of same by referring it to the issuing tax office.

Below is a list of things/transactions you cannot do/conduct in Nigeria without a tax clearance certificate:

(a) application for Government loan for industry or business;
(b)    registration of motor vehicle;
(c)    application for firearms licence;
(d)    application for foreign exchange or exchange control permission to remit funds outside Nigeria;
(e)    application for certificate of occupancy;
(f)     application for award of contracts by Government, its agencies and registered companies;
(g)    application for approval of building plans;
(h)    application for trade licence;
(i)     application for transfer of real property;
(j)     application for import or export licence;
(k)    application for agent licence;
(l)     application for pools or gaming licence;
(m)   application for registration as a contractor;
(n)    application for distributorship;
(o)    confirmation of appointment by Government as chairman or member of a public board, institution, commission, company or to any other similar position made by the Government;
(p)    stamping of guarantor's form for a Nigerian passport;
(q)    application for registration of a limited liability company or of a business name;
(r)     application for allocation of market stalls;
(s)    appointment or election into public office.
(t)     for change of ownership of vehicle by the vendor;
(u)    application for plot of land; and
(v)    any other transaction as may be determined from time to time.
(w) application for control permission to remit funds abroad to a non-resident from rent, dividends, interest, royalty and fee, etc.

Note that failure of government organisation or commercial bank to demand and obtain tax clearance certificate of a person before relating with such person on the above listed issues has committed an offence and it is punishable with fine of 5 Million Naira and or imprisonment for 3 years.

My authorities are sections 1, 2, 3, 85, 108 and 109 of the Personal Income Tax Act 1993.


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Onyekachi Umah

Onyekachi Umah is a private Legal Practitioner with amazing experience in human right, criminal law and civil law including; intellectual property, transaction and regulation advisory, corporate, commercial, investment law and energy law as well as litigation and arbitration arising from them. He is a Legal Awareness Expert and also a Certified Arbitrator both in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and a Certified Conflict Management Practitioner and Negotiator. He is a member of prestigious “Young ICSID” of International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), Washington DC. Among other, he has a certificate in Law of Contract from a program of Harvard University, a certificate in International Environmental Negotiation from United Nations Institute for Training and Research, Geneva and recently, a certificate in Conflict Management from United States Institute of Peace, Washington, D.C. He also holds a master of laws degree from University of Jos and he is a doctoral student at the faculty of law, Nassarawa State University. 

Onyekachi is the managing partner of a leading law firm; Bezaleel Chambers International. He is the founder and President of a free law awareness platform known as that promotes awareness and understanding of rights and laws of Nigeria (#SabiLaw) and offers free daily law tips (#DailyLawTips). Understanding the challenges of Administration of Criminal Justice in Nigeria, he dedicates his daily law tips every Mondays to promoting Criminal Justice (#CriminalJusticeMonday). Recently, he started a new series on Election Laws tagged (#SabiElectionLaws) to increase legal awareness on elections laws, policies and regulations in Nigeria. He is the convener of the Sabi Law Lecture Series (#SabiLawLectureSeries), travelling around Nigeria delivering free law awareness lectures. He also organises and sponsors a quarterly competition, titled "Sabi Law Video Challenge" (#SabiLawVideoChallenge) where Nigerians win money (over $130.00 per winner) for making videos of themselves talking on any law or right as a way to promote law awareness and have fun. To further promote legal awareness among Nigerians across the world, he started a law awareness show titled "Sabi Law With Onyekachi Umah, Esq" (#SabiLawWithOnyekachiUmahEsq) showing on social media platforms via @LearnNigerianLaws.   

Mr. Umah has written over Four Hundred (400) free to access articles and materials on law with a desire to enlighten the public. He is also on the board of companies and non government organisations. Among others, he is serving as a member of the Advisory Committee for Law Clinics Partnership for Reforming Pre-trial Detention in Kuje Prison Project funded by the United States Department Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. He is member of the Rotary Club of Abuja, Metro (RCAM), District 9125. He has been featured as the Legal Personality of the Week by This Day Newspaper (a leading national newspaper) on its September 11, 2018 edition and was featured on the as the Legal Personality of the Week on November 14, 2018. He has won several honours and awards for his innovative legal practise across the world.



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