Tax Planning for Expatriates in Lagos: Inland Revenue Guidelines.

RSUs and the Expatriation Tax | SF Tax Counsel


Lagos, Nigeria’s vibrant economic hub, attracts expatriates from around the world who contribute their skills and expertise to the city’s dynamic business landscape. For expatriates, understanding the intricacies of tax regulations is essential to ensure compliance and optimize their financial positions. The Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) provides guidelines for tax planning that expatriates can follow to navigate their tax obligations while enjoying their stay in Lagos. In this article, we will explore the key guidelines and strategies for effective tax planning for expatriates in Lagos.

Tax Obligations of Expatriates:

Expatriates residing and working in Lagos are subject to certain tax obligations, including:

  1. Personal Income Tax: Expatriates are required to pay personal income tax on their earnings in Nigeria, regardless of their country of origin.
  2. Non-Resident Tax: Expatriates are generally taxed as non-residents for the first 183 days of their stay. After this period, they are considered residents for tax purposes.
  3. Employment Tax: Employers are responsible for deducting and remitting personal income tax from expatriates’ salaries.

Inland Revenue Guidelines for Tax Planning:

  1. Tax Residency: Understanding the criteria for tax residency is crucial. Expatriates must determine whether they meet the residency conditions and adjust their tax planning accordingly.
  2. Double Taxation Agreements: Many countries, including Nigeria, have double taxation agreements to prevent the same income from being taxed in both the expatriate’s home country and Nigeria. Expatriates should be aware of these agreements to optimize their tax positions.
  3. Taxable Income: Expatriates should identify all sources of taxable income, including salaries, allowances, benefits, and any other forms of compensation.
  4. Exemptions and Deductions: Expatriates can explore exemptions and deductions available under Nigerian tax law, such as those related to housing, children’s education, and medical expenses.
  5. Tax Planning Tools: Utilize tax-efficient tools and strategies to manage tax liability, such as structuring compensation packages and optimizing investment portfolios.
  6. Documentation: Maintaining proper documentation of income, expenses, and tax-related transactions is critical for accurate tax reporting.

Benefits of Effective Tax Planning:

  1. Optimized Tax Liability: Effective tax planning allows expatriates to minimize their tax liability while complying with tax regulations.
  2. Enhanced Financial Position: Reduced tax payments result in increased take-home income, improving expatriates’ financial well-being.
  3. Compliance and Peace of Mind: Adhering to tax regulations and fulfilling tax obligations provides expatriates with peace of mind and avoids legal complications.
  4. Focus on Professional Goals: Efficient tax planning allows expatriates to focus on their professional commitments without undue stress about tax matters.


Tax planning for expatriates in Lagos is a collaborative effort between the individual, their employer, and the Lagos Inland Revenue Service. By adhering to the guidelines provided by the LIRS and seeking professional assistance when needed, expatriates can navigate the complexities of taxation with confidence. Effective tax planning not only ensures compliance but also empowers expatriates to optimize their financial positions, make informed decisions, and contribute to the economic growth of Lagos, Nigeria. As a result, expatriates can fully enjoy their professional and personal experiences in this vibrant and diverse city.

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.