LIRS and Real Estate Taxation: Navigating the Complexities for Compliance.


Real estate is a cornerstone of Nigeria’s economy, and as such, it plays a significant role in the country’s tax system. The Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS), as the tax authority responsible for Lagos State, has specific regulations and requirements governing real estate taxation. Navigating the complexities of real estate taxation is crucial for property owners, investors and businesses in Lagos. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of real estate taxation in Lagos and how the LIRS is working to ensure compliance within this critical sector.

The Importance of Real Estate Taxation:

Real estate taxation is a vital source of revenue for Lagos State. It helps fund critical infrastructure development, public services, and social programs that benefit residents and businesses. The revenue generated from real estate taxes contributes to the overall economic growth and development of the state.

Key Aspects of Real Estate Taxation in Lagos:

Real estate taxation in Lagos involves several key components:

  1. Property Tax: Property tax is levied on the assessed value of real property, including land, buildings, and improvements. Property owners are required to pay this tax annually, and the rates vary depending on the property’s location, size, and use.
  2. Capital Gains Tax: Capital gains tax is applicable when property is sold or transferred, and it is calculated based on the profit earned from the sale. Property owners must report and pay capital gains tax to the LIRS.
  3. Stamp Duty: Stamp duty is a tax on certain documents related to property transactions, such as leases, deeds, and conveyances. It is payable by the parties involved in the transaction and must be stamped by the LIRS.
  4. Rental Income Tax: Property owners who earn rental income from their real estate holdings are subject to rental income tax. This tax is levied on the rental income received, and property owners are required to file annual tax returns.
  5. Development Levy: The LIRS imposes a development levy on property owners and developers to fund infrastructure development projects in specific areas of the state.
  6. Land Use Charge: Land use charge is an annual fee imposed on property owners for the use and development of their land. The charge is based on the market value of the property and its classification.

The LIRS’s Role in Real Estate Taxation:

The Lagos Inland Revenue Service plays a pivotal role in ensuring compliance with real estate taxation regulations. Here are some of the ways the LIRS facilitates compliance within the real estate sector:

  1. Tax Education: The LIRS conducts awareness and education programs to inform property owners and investors about their tax obligations in the real estate sector.
  2. Registration and Documentation: The LIRS oversees the registration and documentation of property transactions, ensuring that all relevant documents are appropriately stamped.
  3. Tax Assessment: Property assessments are carried out by the LIRS to determine the taxable value of properties for property tax purposes.
  4. Enforcement: The LIRS has the authority to enforce compliance with real estate taxation regulations through audits, investigations, and penalties for non-compliance.
  5. Online Services: The LIRS offers online services that enable property owners to file tax returns, make payments, and access information related to their real estate tax obligations.

Compliance Benefits for Property Owners and the Government:

Compliance with real estate taxation regulations offers benefits to both property owners and the government:

For Property Owners:

  1. Legal Security: Compliance ensures that property transactions are legally recognized and protected.
  2. Avoiding Penalties: Timely payment of taxes and proper documentation help property owners avoid penalties, fines, or legal issues.
  3. Improved Infrastructure: Real estate taxes contribute to infrastructure development, enhancing the value and livability of properties.

For the Government:

  1. Revenue Generation: Real estate taxes generate revenue that supports public services and development projects.
  2. Economic Growth: Revenue from real estate taxes stimulates economic growth by funding critical infrastructure and services.
  3. Equitable Distribution: Tax revenue ensures that the burden of financing public services is distributed fairly among property owners.


Real estate taxation is a complex but essential component of Lagos State’s tax system. Compliance with real estate tax regulations is crucial for property owners and investors to avoid legal issues and contribute to the state’s economic development. The Lagos Inland Revenue Service plays a pivotal role in educating, assessing, and enforcing compliance within the real estate sector. By ensuring that property owners understand their tax obligations and adhere to the regulations, the LIRS contributes to a more transparent, equitable, and prosperous real estate environment in Lagos.

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.