Salary earners in Nigeria are mandated by law to pay tax under the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme. Every month a portion of your salary is deducted as tax leaving you with a net salary to take home.
Taxes under the PAYE scheme fall under the jurisdiction of the State Inland Revenue Service, meaning that all the taxed you pay are remitted to the state of your residence.
For example, if you live in Ogun State but work in Lagos, you are liable to pay tax to Ogun State and not Lagos State.
Nigerian Personal Income Tax Laws have evolved over the years with several amendments introduced to align with the income of Nigerians. The latest amendment was in 2012 when the Goodluck Jonathan Administration signed into law an Amended Personal Income Tax Act, replacing several controversial sections of the act with a simpler and easy to calculate taxable income.
The new amendments affect several sections of the Personal Income Tax Act, particularly Section 33 which deals with Personal Relief and Relief for Children, dependants, etc. This has now being replaced with a Consolidated Relief Allowance (CRA) of N200,000 + 20% of gross income.
They have also reviewed the Minimum Tax upwards from 0.5% to 1% and the Tax Table has also been notably amended.
In this article, we will demonstrate how your personal income tax is calculated using the example of a taxpayer named Mr Ahmed.
How to calculate your tax payable
Mr Ahmed earns an Annual Salary Package of N3 million including leave allowance. Mr Ahmed also contributes 2.5% of his basic to the National Housing Fund to enable him to secure a loan.
Let’s take you through these steps to calculate his taxable income:
(Remember CRA replaces all reliefs including transport, leave allowance, rents etc.)
For tax purposes we can break-down his salary as follows:
Following which we can now apply the Consolidated Relief of N200,000 plus 20% of Earned Income and also deduct exceptions such as National Housing Fund Contribution (NHF) which is 2.5% of your Basic and also Pension which is 8% of your Basic+Housing+Transport to arrive at your Taxable Income; Please see below:
Mr Ahmed will now be taxed on N1,986,538.35 using the new tax table.
From the table above, Mr Ahmed will expect an annual tax deduction of N305,173.05 or a monthly tax deduction of N25,431.09. This is a 10.17% effective tax rate for Ahmed. And this is what his take home will look like:
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The amended law makes it very easy to calculate income taxes unlike before, thus eliminating most of the loopholes that were previously being used to exploit taxpayers.
But how can I reduce my taxable income?
The new PAYE template introduced in 2012 makes it more difficult to reduce the amount of taxable income you are subjected to. However, there are still something you can do to reduce your taxable income.
To encourage pension contribution the Government allows employees to contribute more than 8% of your basic, housing, and transport as a pension contribution. By doing so, you get more tax reliefs, thus lower taxable income. Using the example above, assuming you decide to increase your pension contribution from 8% to 10%, your monthly taxes reduce to N24,623 as depicted below:
It is important to note that by doing this your take-home pay will reduce as your salary will be deducted for the extra pension that you contribute. However, you get compensated for this by the extra return you earn on your pension contributions as well as paying lower taxes. Also, assuming you decide to resign and cash in on your pension within 5 years of contributing it, the new pension reform act of 2014 requires that the additional portion contributed will be taxed. Therefore, you will also have to have contributed it for a period of over 5 years to get a tax rebate.
Life Assurance premiums are those premiums you pay towards insuring an immediate family member in the event that you die. There is no limit to how much you can contribute and how much relief you can get from it. The higher your life assurance, the higher the relief that you get. Assuming Mr Ahmed paid a premium of N500,000 in life assurance during the year and also contributes 10% as pension, His taxes will look like this:
You can see that the tax per month has dropped to N16,139 as against N24,623 when he didn’t pay premiums on life assurance. Just like the increase in pension contribution, this also dents your take home but you get the benefit similarly.
Below is a simple template to help calculate your taxes by yourself. Send us an email or drop a comment if you have issues using it. Help us to help you.
This article was first published on Ugometrics (Nairametrics) in 2012 and was later updated in 2019.
DEVALUATION: CBN updates website to official rate of N360/$1
The central bank of Nigeria has devalued its official exchange rate from N307/$1 to N360/$1.
Just as Nairametrics reported, the Central Bank of Nigeria has devalued its official exchange rate from N307/$1 to N360/$1. The apex bank has now reflected this change on its website signaling a confirmation. The bank is yet to issue a press release to this effect.
The CBN has now officially devalued by 15% moving from N307/$1 to N360/$1. Depreciation at the “market-determined” I&E window is 5% having moved from N360/$1 to N380/$1
Devaluation: Nairametrics reported yesterday that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold dollars to banks at N380/$1 in a move signifying a devaluation of the currency. Banks trading at the Investor and Exporter (I&E) window bought dollars at N360/$1 from the CBN on Friday, March 20, 2020. The I&E window is the official market where forex is traded between banks, the CBN, foreign investors, and businesses. The central bank typically buys or sells in the market as part of its intervention program.
Nairametrics also got hold of a letter from the CBN to banks informing them of the new exchange rate for dollars flowing from the International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs). According to the CBN, IMTOs will sell to banks at N376/$1 while banks will sell to the CBN at N377/$1. The CBN will sell to BDC’s at N378/$1 while the BDC’s will sell to end-users at “no more than” N380/$1.
Single Exchange Rate: A report yesterday also suggested that the CBN also planned to move to a single exchange rate policy for determining the price of the dollar. A senior central bank official who does not want to be identified, said, ‘Today we allowed the rate at the importer and exporters (I&E) window to adjust in response to market developments.’
The central bank has now made an apparent u-turn after it had initially that the “market fundamentals do not support naira devaluation at this time” detailing reasons why it did not need to devalue.
Falling oil price: Oil prices fell to under $20 on Friday before climbing back up to settle at $23 per barrel. Nigeria’s Bonny light trades at $26 while the benchmark Brent crude trades at $29 per barrel. In response to the crash in oil price, Nigeria’s announced a cut to its 2020 budget by N1.5 trillion as it faced the reality of a potential drop in its revenues. Nairametrics also has information that state governments are getting jittery about their ability to sustain salary payments as a reduction in their federal allocation “FAAC” is anticipated.
Investment options for salary earners
Investment options for the salary earners
#Investing #Entrepreneurs #Investment #Salary #Wages
Recently, one of the readers of my articles asked to know what investment options are open to salary earners. A salaried individual is like everyone else except that he or she has a fixed monthly income. This implies that their investments and expenses have to be managed strictly according to their fixed monthly income.
Since salary is assumed to be the only source of income for the salaried, it is advisable that such an individual fortify himself financially before investing so that adverse investment performance will not have untold effect on him and his family. Therefore, if you are a salaried prospective investor, you need to:
Get life insurance
Most families in Nigeria are single income families so much such that if anything bad happens to the income earner, the family gets shattered, at least financially. Again, given the risks inherent in capital market investments, it is only prudent to have a life insurance as a first step in one’s investment journey. It is very baffling to see many investors very deep into the market, yet they do not have life insurance.
[Read Also: Understanding the risks in bond investing]
Life insurance is and should be a basic part of any financial plan. Life insurance is a protection for loved ones against financial hardship arising from the death of a breadwinner. This is even more important today than ever before with high cost of funeral expenses, college education and medical bills. So, the first investment option for a salaried individual is to get a life insurance.
Prepare for financial emergencies
Life is full of surprises, emergencies do happen, jobs are lost without notices, and even good investment opportunities emerge sometimes suddenly. There is, therefore, the need for a cash reserve to help weather the financial storms and emergencies when they come calling.
Cash reserves do not only provide for emergencies, they also help to ensure that investments are not liquidated prematurely or at inopportune times to cover unexpected expenses. There are no hard and fast rules on what the exact amount of the required cash reserve should be, but most financial experts and planners will advise that an amount that equals about six months of living expenses be set aside.
So, as a salaried person, your next investment should be to have a cash reserve. A cash reserve should not necessarily be in a savings account or under the mattress; it could be in an interest-bearing money market account, money market mutual funds with low to zero luck-up period or another form of very liquid investment that is readily convertible to cash without loss of value.
[Read Also: Understanding the risks in bond investing]
Know your risk appetite
As a salaried and fixed income individual, your risk appetite is most likely going to be low as well as your risk tolerance, although your extended family profile could change all that. You need to know or understand your risk tolerance before you engage in any capital market investment.
Your risk tolerance will and should drive the type of investments you go into. Your risk tolerance depends on your psychological makeup, your current insurance coverage, presence or absence of cash reserve, family situation, and your age among others.
Talking about family situation, it is reasonable to think that a married individual whose children are still in school will be more risk averse than an unmarried person. On the other hand, older people have shorter investment time horizon within which to make up for any losses. the reason for this is because the older you get the less time you have to work to recoup on losses.
In that case the risk tolerance of an older man will be less than those for younger folks. Again, the more cash reserve and insurance coverage you have, the more your propensity to take risk. Now having known your risk tolerance based on the underlying factors, you can then define your investment objectives
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Set your Investment objectives/goals
Having met those essentials above, you are now ready for a serious investment plan or program. A good investment plan starts with investment objectives. Investment objectives are the force that determines what you invest in. Investment objectives range from capital preservation, to capital appreciation and constant income generation.
Capital preservation as an investment objective implies that you, the investor, aim at minimising the risk of loss by maintaining the purchasing power of your investment. So, if you are risk averse or you will need money from your investment soon for children’s education or for building a house or you are nearing retirement, this should be your objective.
Investors whose aims are to see their investment portfolios increase in real terms over a period of time are better suited for capital appreciation as an objective. This is better for investors that are more risk tolerant and those with more potential to recoup on losses along the way.
If you are already retired or nearing retirement, and therefore depend on your retirement plan supplemented by investment income, you need an investment that generates income rather than capital gains. In that case, your investment objective should be current income generation. It is always good to have investment goals stated in terms of risk and returns.
Decide on asset allocation
Armed with the knowledge of your risk appetite and investment objective, you are now ready to decide on what to invest in, and how much to invest in any asset class. This takes you to asset allocation decisions. Asset allocation involves dividing an investment portfolio among different asset classes based on an investor’s financial requirements, investment objectives and risk tolerance.
A right mix of asset classes in a portfolio provides an investor with the highest probability of meeting his/her investment objectives. Asset allocation is the most important investment decision an investor can make in a portfolio because it demonstrates an investor’s understanding of his or her risk preferences and return expectations.
It is good to strive for a diversified portfolio. Unfortunately, the Nigerian market does not provide a lot of asset classes for optimal diversification, but diversification can be achieved across sectors or industries within the few asset classes in the Nigerian stock market.
Decide on how to invest
There are different ways to invest in the capital market. You can invest directly by making the stock selections by yourself, thanks to the online stock trading platforms that abound the world over. This implies that you have what it takes to conduct the required research and analysis of the companies whose shares or stocks you wish to buy.
[Read Also: How I Would Invest My Mother’s Retirement Funds]
It also implies that you have what it takes to know when to sell or add to existing positions. Another method is to have someone “do the heavy lifting” for you. In this case, that someone, often times called fund manager or portfolio manager, does the research and analysis and selects shares that suit your investment preferences, investment objectives, risk tolerance and appetite as well as your investment time horizon.
This route is most suitable for investors that lack the knowledge and time for the required research and analysis. If you decide to go this route, mutual funds are the best bet for you.
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