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Penalty awaits Nigerians who fail to deduct or remit stamp duties into federal or State accounts

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Tuesday said that failure to deduct or remit stamp duties into the Federal or State Stamp Duties Account would attract the relevant penalties and interest as stipulated in the Stamp Duties Act.

Clarifying the statues and responsibilities under the payment, the FIRS said in a statement its Director, Communications and Liaison Department, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, it is the responsibility of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Money Deposit Banks (MDBs), Companies, Landlords, Executors and others to ensure that all eligible people or groups pay.

The FIRS said that those eligible for the payments include service providers, contractors, tenants and others pay stamp duties due on agreements, receipts and other dutiable instruments.

The full statement reads: “Following several requests by taxpayers seeking clarifications on the current administration of Stamp Duties Act in the country, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has published detailed information to guide taxpayers and the general public on rates payable as stamp duty.

“The clarification guide is contained in a Public Notice signed by Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, and published in major national newspapers on Monday, July 20, 2020 as well as on the official FIRS website, www.firs.gov.ng.

“According to Mr. Nami, “stamp duty is a tax payable in respect of dutiable instrument as provided under the Stamp Duties Act, CAP S8, LFN 2004 (as amended). Such instruments include Agreements, Contracts, Receipts, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Promissory notes, Insurance policies and others stipulated in the Schedule to the Stamp Duties Act.

“Stamp Duty is chargeable on both physical and electronic instruments in two ways i.e. Ad-valorem, where duty payable is a percentage of the consideration on an instrument; or Flat Rate, where a fixed sum is chargeable irrespective of the consideration on dutiable instrument or document.

“Mr. Nami listed no fewer than 50 types of chargeable transactions which require stamp duty. He also specified the rates chargeable on each, according to a statement issued on Monday by Director, Communications and Liaison Department, FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad.

“Some of the chargeable transactions are bank deposit or transfer, loan agreement, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) related to land, sales agreement, will, tenancy/lease agreement and all receipts.

“Mr. Nami clarified that the recently launched FIRS Adhesive Stamp “is not the same as postage stamp administered by NIPOST for the purposes of delivery of items and documents, and is therefore not a substitute for the FIRS adhesive stamp, which is produced for the sole purpose of stamp duty payment.”

 “The FIRS helmsman stressed that “the burden of payment of stamp duties whether fixed or ad-valorem is that of the beneficiaries of a contract, or Money Deposit Banks’ customers who transfer an amount of N10,000 and above from his account to another customer’s account.

“It is the responsibility of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Money Deposit Banks (MDBs), Companies, Landlords, Executors, etc. to ensure that service providers, contractors, tenants etc. pay stamp duties due on agreements, receipts and other dutiable instruments.

“Failure to deduct or remit stamp duties into the Federal or State Stamp Duties Account attracts relevant penalties and interest as stipulated in the Stamp Duties Act, Cap S8, LFN 2004 (as amended)”, Mr. Nami stated.’

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