Most small business owners are usually confused about the application of Value Added Tax and
Withholding Tax when paying for invoices provided by vendors.

Don’t be hard on yourself if you do not understand; most accountants
also find it hard to figure these things out. Tax can be quite
confusing, which is why as a small business owner, you should always
have a tax consultant by your side.

To explain better we will use a scenario:

Jideowo Ltd is a supplier of printing materials and
stationery that got a contract to supply stationery to MoMoney Ltd for
an invoice value of N100,000. Being Vatable items, Jideowo Ltd adds a 5%
VAT to the contract sum, bringing the total amount to
N105,000. The invoice looks like this:

Jide Owo Invoice

What withholding Tax to deduct

Upon receiving this invoice, the accounts department
of MoMoney will deduct 5% WHT from it and schedule a payment of N100,000
in favor of Jideowo Ltd. The deducted N5,000 is then remitted to the
Federal Inland Revenue Service which issues a withholding tax credit
note that should be given to authorized representatives of Jideowo Ltd.

VAT to Remit 

Upon receiving the payment of N100,000 and tax credit note of
N5,000, Jideowo Ltd will remit a sum of N5,000 to the Federal Inland
Revenue as value added tax on the transaction. The FIRS will
be shown the WHT credit note of N5,000 which can be used to set-off
future company income taxes.

Break-down of payment (who gets what in cash): 

Invoice amount     – N105,000.00
FIRS (VAT)             –  N5,000.00
FIRS (WHT)           – N5,000.00
Jideowo  Limited   –  N95,000.00

Hope we have been able to clarify this issue adequately. If you still
need further explanation you may need to employ the services of a tax consultant.