Real Estate Rental Income Tax for Non-Resident Property Owners in Lagos: A Comprehensive Guide.

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Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital, boasts a thriving real estate market, attracting investors from around the globe. Non-resident property owners who generate rental income in Lagos are subject to specific tax regulations set forth by the Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS). In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to understanding and complying with real estate rental income tax for non-resident property owners in Lagos.

Taxation of Rental Income:

Rental income generated from real estate properties in Lagos is considered taxable income and falls under the purview of the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA). This means that both resident and non-resident property owners are subject to taxation on their rental income.

Non-Resident Property Owners: Key Considerations:

Non-resident property owners must take into account several key considerations when it comes to the taxation of their rental income in Lagos:

  1. Tax Identification Number (TIN): Non-resident property owners must obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the LIRS. This unique identifier is essential for tax transactions.
  2. Withholding Tax: The paying tenant or agent is responsible for deducting withholding tax from rental payments to non-resident property owners. The current withholding tax rate for non-residents is 10%.
  3. Filing Tax Returns: Non-resident property owners must file annual tax returns with the LIRS, detailing their rental income and expenses.
  4. Expenses Deductions: Non-residents can deduct certain expenses related to their rental property, such as property management fees and maintenance costs, from their taxable income.
  5. Tax Treaties: Non-resident property owners should explore whether their home country has a Double Taxation Treaty with Nigeria. These treaties can influence the withholding tax rate and provide relief from double taxation.
  6. Currency Exchange Considerations: Non-resident property owners should be aware of exchange rate fluctuations, as these can impact the value of rental income and tax calculations.

Withholding Tax on Rental Income:

The withholding tax on rental income serves as a mechanism to collect tax at the source. Tenants or property agents are required to withhold the applicable tax amount and remit it to the LIRS on behalf of the non-resident property owner. Failure to withhold and remit this tax can result in penalties for the payer.

Filing Annual Tax Returns:

Non-resident property owners are obligated to file annual tax returns with the LIRS, regardless of the withholding tax deductions made by tenants or agents. These returns should accurately report rental income and expenses related to the property. Property owners can claim a credit for the withholding tax already remitted when filing their returns.

Challenges and Compliance Risks:

Navigating real estate rental income tax for non-resident property owners in Lagos can present several challenges and compliance risks:

  1. Complexity: Nigerian tax laws, including those related to rental income, can be complex, requiring expert guidance.
  2. Documentation Burden: Proper record-keeping and documentation of expenses and rental income are essential for compliance but can be administratively burdensome.
  3. Currency Exchange Risks: Fluctuations in exchange rates can affect the value of rental income and tax calculations.
  4. Regulatory Changes: Tax laws and regulations can change over time, impacting compliance requirements and tax liabilities.


Non-resident property owners in Lagos should be well-versed in the tax implications of their rental income to ensure compliance with Nigerian tax laws. While the process may seem daunting, seeking advice from local tax experts, maintaining meticulous records, and staying informed about regulatory changes can help non-resident property owners navigate the complexities of real estate rental income taxation in Lagos successfully.

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.