CIT and Real Estate Investment: Exploring Tax Implications for Developers and Investors.


Real estate investment has long been recognized as a stable and lucrative avenue for both developers and investors in Nigeria. As the real estate sector continues to flourish, it is essential for both developers and investors to be well-informed about the tax implications under the Companies Income Tax (CIT) Act. In this article, we will delve into the key tax implications for developers and investors in the Nigerian real estate market.

Tax Implications for Developers:

  1. Income Recognition: Developers earn income from the sale or lease of properties. Under the CIT Act, such income is subject to taxation. It is crucial for developers to accurately determine the timing and amount of income recognition for tax purposes.
  2. Capital Gains Tax: Capital gains tax may apply when developers sell properties at a profit. The CIT Act stipulates that capital gains tax is applicable on gains derived from the disposal of chargeable assets, including real estate.
  3. Withholding Tax on Rent: When developers lease properties, they are required to deduct withholding tax from the rent payments made to landlords. The current withholding tax rate on rent is 10%.
  4. Deductibility of Expenses: Developers can deduct allowable expenses incurred during the development and construction process. Proper record-keeping is essential to substantiate these deductions.

Tax Implications for Investors:

  1. Rental Income: Investors who earn rental income from real estate properties are subject to tax on the rental income received. The income is added to the investor’s other sources of income and taxed at the applicable personal income tax rates.
  2. Capital Gains Tax: Similar to developers, investors are also subject to capital gains tax on gains realized from the sale of real estate properties.
  3. Mortgage Interest: Interest paid on mortgage loans for real estate investment may be deductible for tax purposes, subject to certain conditions and limits.
  4. Withholding Tax on Dividends: If real estate investment is made through a company structure, dividends distributed to shareholders are subject to withholding tax. The current withholding tax rate on dividends is 10%.

Tax Planning and Compliance:

  1. Proper Documentation: Both developers and investors should maintain accurate records of transactions, expenses, and income. Proper documentation is crucial for substantiating claims and ensuring compliance with tax laws.
  2. Tax Incentives: The Nigerian government has introduced various tax incentives to promote real estate development, such as tax holidays for certain developments. Developers and investors should explore available incentives to optimize their tax positions.
  3. Professional Guidance: Given the complexities of real estate transactions and taxation, seeking professional tax advisory services can help developers and investors navigate tax regulations, optimize tax planning, and ensure compliance.


Real estate investment offers tremendous opportunities for developers and investors in Nigeria. Understanding the tax implications associated with real estate transactions is paramount for effective tax planning and compliance. By adhering to tax regulations, optimizing deductions, and seeking professional guidance, both developers and investors can maximize their returns while contributing to the growth and development of the Nigerian real estate sector.

For professional advice on Accountancy, Transfer Pricing, Tax, Assurance, Outsourcing, online accounting support, Company Registration, and CAC matters, please contact Sunmola David & CO (Chartered Accountants & Tax Practitioners) at Lagos, Ogun state Nigeria offices, You can also reach us via WhatsApp at +2348038460036.