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Frequently Asked Questions About Filing Annual Returns in Nigeria

Questions about filing annual returns

For every business in Nigeria, filing annual returns with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) is a must-do. It shows that your business is reliable and serious. In addition, it will make others more willing to work with you. We know it can get a bit confusing with all the rules and deadlines. That’s why we’ve put together a detailed Frequently Asked Questions about filing annual returns in Nigeria.

This frequently asked questions article covers everything you need to know about filing your annual returns. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for years, this guide will help you understand why it’s important and how to do it right. We are here to guide you. Reach ReDahlia at 08188122223 or 08038874148.

See Also: How to transition from not having a business idea to having a functional registered business.

Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

Why Annual Returns Matter for Your Business

Annual returns are more than just a formality—they’re a snapshot of your company’s health. In Nigeria, filing them is crucial as it keeps your business on the right side of the law. Plus, it sends a strong message to clients and investors: your business is upright and transparent.

The Role of the Corporate Affairs Commission In Annual Returns

The CAC oversees the process of filing annual returns and ensures that your business’s details are up-to-date in the official records. It’s your go-to authority for any questions about annual returns filing. They make sure that all businesses play by the rules and contribute to a fair marketplace for all.

Remember, keeping up with your annual returns is non-negotiable. It’s the bedrock of maintaining your business’s good standing.

See Also: Comprehensive guide on how to register your business with CAC

What are Annual Returns?

Annual returns are essential filings that recap your company’s yearly financial activities. Think of them as a health check for your business, required by law in Nigeria. They provide a clear picture of your company’s structure, governance, and financial status to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

Legally, your business must file these documents within a specific period each year. It’s not just about updating the CAC; it’s a compliance step that keeps your company legally operational in Nigeria.

See Also: Benefits of registering a business in Nigeria.

The Importance of Filing Annual Returns

It helps You Steer Clear of Penalties

Filing your annual returns on time avoids unnecessary fines. Late filings can lead to penalties that not only harm your wallet but also your company’s standing.

It Boosts Your Business Image

Staying on top of your annual returns boosts your business’s image. It tells customers, investors, and partners that you’re serious about governance and transparency. It’s about building trust. And in the business world, trust is gold.

See Also: How to choose the right business structure in Nigeria.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Filing Annual Returns with CAC

Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

Here are the frequently asked questions about filing annual returns. We covered questions you may have about filing your annual returns with CAC in Nigeria.

Q1: What documents are needed to file annual returns with the CAC?

To file your annual returns with the CAC, you’ll need the following:

  • A completed annual return form
  • Financial statements of the previous year
  • A copy of the company’s Articles of Association (if there have been changes)
  • Updated company information, including details of any changes in directorship or company address

Q2: When is the deadline for filing annual returns in Nigeria?

The deadline is typically within 30 days after the anniversary of the company’s incorporation. However, it’s wise to check the CAC website for any updates or changes to filing deadlines.

Q3: Can annual returns be filed online, or must they be done in person?

You have both options. The CAC has an online portal for ease, but you can also file in person at any CAC office.

Q4: What are the penalties for late filing of annual returns?

Late filing attracts a daily penalty for as long as the default continues. This penalty varies depending on whether the company is private or public.

Q5: Are there any exemptions for small businesses or startups?

Small businesses and startups are not exempt from filing annual returns, but the CAC offers simplified processes and, sometimes, reduced fees.

See Also: Detailed explanation of the different business structures in Nigeria

Q6: How can I correct a mistake in my previously filed annual returns?

You can apply for rectification with the CAC by providing a formal letter explaining the error, accompanied by supporting documents.

Q7: Do foreign companies operating in Nigeria need to file annual returns?

Yes, foreign companies must file annual returns with the CAC, just like locally incorporated companies.

Q8: How can I check if my annual returns have been successfully filed and accepted?

You can verify the status of your filing on the CAC’s online portal or request a confirmation from their office.

Q9: What information is disclosed in annual returns?

Annual returns reveal your company’s current structure, including share capital, shareholders, and directors. It also includes your registered office address and the company’s principal business activities.

See Also: Advantages of registering a business in Nigeria

Q10: How does the CAC calculate the fees for filing annual returns?

The fees depend on your company’s share capital and the promptness of filing. You can find a fee schedule on the CAC website.

Q11: Can I get help with filing my annual returns?

Absolutely. Professionals like accountants or accredited CAC agents can help to ensure accuracy and compliance. Talk to ReDahlia at 08038874148 or 08188122223 about your annual returns, business registration and tax compliance.

Q12: What if my company didn’t trade during the year?

Even if there were no transactions, you still must file ‘nil’ returns to stay compliant.

See Also: Frequently Asked Question about business registration in Nigeria

Q13: Why do I need to file my annual returns?

It’s not just a formality; filing annual returns keeps your business compliant with Nigerian laws, upholds its status as a credible entity, opens doors for business dealings, and is fundamental to sound corporate governance.

Q14: How much does it cost to file my annual returns?

Costs can fluctuate based on company type and are subject to regulatory changes. Prices range from a couple thousand Naira for small entities to higher amounts for larger corporations. It’s best to consult the CAC’s fee schedule for up-to-date information. For expert help, reach out to ReDahlia at 08188122223 or 08038874148.

Q15: How do I file my annual returns if my company hasn’t traded during the year?

Non-trading doesn’t equal no filing. You’ll need to file a ‘nil’ return, affirming that no business activities occurred during that year.

Q16: Can I file my annual returns myself, or do I need an accountant or lawyer?

Self-filing is an option if you’re confident in your ability to handle the paperwork. However, for accuracy and ease, a chartered accountant or legal expert is recommended, especially if your financials are complex.

See Also: Annual Returns filing in Nigeria- Everything you need to know about annual returns.

Q17: What happens if I file my annual returns late?

Delays can lead to fines, and significant procrastination may result in your company being marked as inactive or removed from the CAC’s register.

Q18: Are there any exemptions to filing annual returns?

No company is above this law. All registered businesses must file their annual returns.

Q19: Can I correct a mistake after filing my annual returns?

Mistakes can be rectified, though it might mean extra paperwork and fees. Aim for accuracy the first time around to avoid these complications.

Q20: What if my company is dormant? Do I still need to file annual returns?

Even dormant companies must file to maintain their registered status with the CAC.

Q21: How can I verify that my annual returns have been filed?

Post-filing, you’ll receive a confirmation from the CAC. You can also check your filing status on the CAC’s online portal.

See Also: How to file annual returns

Q22: What are the consequences of never filing annual returns?

Neglecting to file can get your company deregistered and legal actions could be initiated against company principals.

Q23: Can I file annual returns for previous years if I missed doing so?

Yes, but you’ll face late penalties. It’s crucial to clear any backlog quickly to prevent escalating fees and legal troubles.

Q24: Are annual returns and tax returns the same thing?

They’re different. Annual returns are about your company’s structure and financial health for the CAC, while tax returns deal with your taxes and are filed with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

Q25: How can foreign companies operating in Nigeria file their annual returns?

Foreign businesses must adhere to the same annual return filing regulations, usually done through their Nigerian branches or representatives.

Q26: Do nonprofit organizations need to file annual returns?

Yes, nonprofits must submit a statement of affairs as their version of annual returns.

Q27: What digital platforms are available for filing annual returns in Nigeria?

The CAC has an online platform specifically for this purpose, accessible through their official website.

Q28: Can annual returns be used as official documents for business transactions?

Absolutely, they serve as legal proof of your company’s legitimacy and can be critical in business dealings.

See Also: Step-by-step guide to file annual returns.

Step-by-Step Guide to Filing Your Annual Returns

Getting Started

Begin by gathering all necessary documents: your financial statements, details of company officers, and proof of the company’s address.

Online Submission

Log on to the CAC’s online portal. Complete the annual return form accurately, and upload the required documents.

Payment Process

Calculate your fee based on the CAC’s current charges and make the payment online. Keep the receipt for your records.


After submission, you will receive a confirmation. Save this for future reference—it’s proof of your compliance.

See Also: Advantages of filing annual returns in Nigeria.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing Annual Returns

Incorrect Information

Double-check data entries. Mistakes can lead to delays and possible penalties.

Missed Deadlines

Mark your calendar. Late submissions attract fines and can tarnish your business’s image.

Overlooking Details

Don’t skim forms. Pay attention to every field to ensure completeness and accuracy.

See Also: How to get TIN in Nigeria.


We have looked at the frequently asked questions about filing annual returns with CAC in Nigeria. Remember, timely filing of annual returns is a testament to your business’s commitment to transparency and statutory compliance. It’s not just about fulfilling a requirement—it’s about positioning your business for trust and growth.

Need a hand? ReDahlia is here to help. Contact us for assistance with your business compliance and strategic growth plans. Let’s ensure your annual returns are filed flawlessly. Reach out at 08038874148.

See Also: Common mistakes to avoid when filing annual returns with CAC.

How We Can Help You Register Your Business And Comply With Taxes Monthly

Send us a message on WhatsApp- 08188122223 or 08038874148 to help you with your business registration and tax compliance.

Our Essential Compliance Service Covers:

Initial Registration for VAT/TIN Certificate: Complete facilitation of your initial VAT/TIN registration process with FIRS and LIRS.

 Initial Registration for PAYE, Business Premises, and Development Levy.

 Monthly PAYE: Computation of PAYE deductible, remittance of PAYE, and filing of monthly returns.

Monthly VAT: Computation of VAT payable, remittance of VAT, and filing of monthly returns, taking cognizance of applicable tax laws.

Annual Business Premises and Development Levy Renewal

On-Demand Premium Services

Should your business require our ProMAX Compliance Service, which includes account preparation, auditing, and TCC filing, please contact us directly. This premium service is tailored to your specific needs and billed upon request.

Why Choose Our Compliance Services?

Peace of Mind: With our expertise, you can rest assured that your compliance needs are in capable hands.

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Get in touch today by clicking the Contact Us page or sending us a message on WhatsApp: 08038874148 or 08188122223.

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