BY COBHAM NSA, ABUJA – At a time that many global businesses are smarting from the debilitating impact of COVID-19 pandemic, excitement is what oozes from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) over its milepost successes in revenue collection.
The Service is upbeat that notwithstanding coronavirus adverse effects on the Nigerian economy, it has recorded an expanding growth of 1,000 per cent in revenue that comes from Stamp Duty collection in the first five months of 2020.
With the impressive development, the Service said about N66 billion has already been remitted into the Federation Account between January 2020 and May 2020 through the Stamp Duty instrument.
According to a statement by the FIRS’ Director of Communications and Liaison Department, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, the excellent record is more laudable given that only N18 billion was collected as total Stamp Duty between January 2019 and December 2019.
The statement said the low accruals came in at a time the economy ran at full steam, without having to contain with any glkbal health emergency.
Furthermore, the statement described the huge upswing in Stamp Duty income as another success story by the Muhammad Nami-led FIRS management that came on board in December 2019 with his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The FIRS Spokesperson also quoted the FIRS Executive Chairman as saying; “Stamp Duty is essentially a duty chargeable on both physical or electronic instruments. The stamp is used to denote a dutiable instrument either electronically, use of an adhesive stamp or inked with a block die in acknowledgement for duty paid.
“In Nigeria, Stamp Duties administration is governed by the Stamp Duties Act, CAP S8, LFN 2004 (as amended) whose forerunner was the Ordinance 41 of 1939.
“The Stamp Duties Act has therefore undergone several amendments over the years up to the Finance Act of 2019. The most recent amendment recognizes technology, economic realities, e-commerce and cross border transactions.”
The FIRS boss further said; “Stamp duties is basically charged in two forms, either ad valorem; where duty payable is a percentage of the consideration on an instrument or a fixed sum irrespective of the consideration on dutiable instrument or document.”
“With the Finance Act, 2019, FIRS is the sole competent tax authority to assess, collect and account for Stamp Duty in Nigeria”, Nami said
On Tuesday, June 30, 2020, the Federal Government inaugurated the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties in Abuja.
At the well-attended event, the new FIRS Adhesive Stamp was unveiled by the Senate President Ahmed Lawan.