Taxation of Non-residents in Lagos: Navigating LIRS’s Guidelines.


Lagos, Nigeria’s economic nerve center, attracts individuals and businesses from around the world. While these non-residents contribute to the city’s growth and development, they also have tax obligations to fulfill. To provide clarity and ensure compliance, the Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) has established guidelines for the taxation of non-residents. In this article, we will explore the tax considerations for non-residents in Lagos, the key guidelines provided by the LIRS, and how individuals and businesses can navigate these regulations effectively.

Tax Considerations for Non-residents:

Non-residents in Lagos, whether individuals or businesses, may have specific tax obligations:

  1. Income Tax: Non-residents are generally taxed on income earned within Nigeria, such as salaries, business profits and rental income.
  2. Withholding Tax: Nigeria imposes withholding tax on certain payments made to non-residents, including dividends, interest, royalties and technical service fees.
  3. Value Added Tax (VAT): Non-resident businesses may have VAT obligations if they provide taxable goods or services in Nigeria.
  4. Permanent Establishment: Non-resident companies with a significant presence in Nigeria may be deemed to have a permanent establishment and may be subject to additional tax obligations.

Key Guidelines from the LIRS:

The Lagos Inland Revenue Service has provided guidelines to facilitate the taxation of non-residents:

  1. Tax Registration: Non-resident individuals and businesses must register with the LIRS and obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) if they have Nigerian-sourced income.
  2. Tax Treaties: Nigeria has tax treaties with several countries to prevent double taxation. Non-residents should understand the terms of these treaties and how they apply to their specific situation.
  3. Withholding Tax Compliance: Non-residents should ensure that the appropriate withholding tax is deducted and remitted to the tax authorities by their Nigerian clients or business partners.
  4. VAT Registration: Non-resident businesses providing taxable goods or services in Nigeria should consider VAT registration and compliance.
  5. Permanent Establishment Assessment: Non-resident companies should carefully assess whether they have a permanent establishment in Nigeria based on the nature and duration of their activities.

Navigating Non-resident Taxation Effectively:

Navigating non-resident taxation in Lagos effectively requires a thorough understanding of the guidelines and proactive compliance:

  1. Seek Professional Advice: Non-residents should consider consulting tax professionals with expertise in Nigerian tax laws and international taxation to ensure proper compliance.
  2. Maintain Proper Records: Maintaining accurate records of income, expenses and transactions is essential for tax compliance and may be required for tax audits.
  3. Tax Treaty Utilization: If applicable, leverage tax treaties to reduce the risk of double taxation and take advantage of treaty benefits.
  4. Withholding Tax Management: Ensure that withholding tax obligations are met, and documentation is in place to support withholding tax credits.
  5. Stay Informed: Keep abreast of changes in Nigerian tax laws and regulations, as these can impact non-resident tax obligations.


The Lagos Inland Revenue Service’s guidelines for the taxation of non-residents aim to provide clarity and fairness in tax administration. Non-residents in Lagos, whether individuals or businesses, should be aware of their tax obligations and strive for compliance. By following the guidelines, seeking professional advice when necessary, and staying informed about tax developments, non-residents can effectively navigate the tax landscape in Lagos while contributing to the city’s continued growth and development.

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.