The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) issued a Public Notice on Monday, 17 February 2020 informing the public of its statutory right as the sole agency responsible for collection of stamp duties on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN).
This is pursuant to the amendment of Section 4(1) of the Stamp Duties Act, Cap. S8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 (SDA) by the Finance Act, 2019. The relevant stamp duties specified in the Schedule to the SDA are in respect of instruments executed between a company and an individual, group or body of individuals.
Consequently, the FIRS has requested all stamp duties collection agents, namely, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Central Securities Clearing Systems and other relevant institutions to remit to it all the stamp duties that they had duly collected within 7 days of the Public Notice,. The FIRS also noted that, going forward, all relevant stamp duties should be promptly remitted to its Stamp Duties Account.
The amendment of Section 4(1) of the SDA by the Finance Act, 2019 has finally put paid to the dispute between the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) and the FIRS regarding the appropriate agency authorized to collect stamp duties on behalf of the FGN. However, the FIRS demand should not apply to organizations that had duly remitted the stamp duties they had collected to NIPOST or, in the case of DMBs, the CBN before 13 January 2020 when Finance Act, 20219 took effect.
The Finance Act, 2019 has also resolved the controversy over the legality of the N50 stamp duty on electronic receipts and transfer of funds by setting the threshold for the charge at N10,000 for all types of accounts. The only exception is in respect of money paid into a bank customer’s own account, or transferred electronically between accounts held by the same person in the same bank. Consequently, DMBs that have historically remitted stamp duty on electronic fund transfers to the CBN are now statutorily required to remit the duty collected to the FIRS. Similarly, going forward, other relevant institutions that execute dutiable instruments are obliged to remit applicable stamp duties to the FIRS Stamp Duty Account as provided in the SDA (as amended).
Please click here to download a copy of the Public Notice.
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