…As FIRS clarifies stamp duty rates, others***
The Naira on Tuesday exchanged at N472 to a dollar at the parallel market in Lagos, just as the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) enlightens the public with detailed information to guide taxpayers on rates payable as stamp duty.
The Pound Sterling and the Euro also exchanged for N575 and N530 respectively.
The Naira, however, traded at N388.17 to a dollar at the investor’s window. The market turnover at the window stood at 38.72 million dollars.
In his reaction to the fall of the naira at the parallel market, Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, a Senior Economist at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye, Ogun, attributed the volatility to the antics of currency speculators.
Tella said that speculators had huge funds for various currencies for the purpose of speculating for future returns.
He said that the speculation could be caused by the official depreciation of the naira recently.
NAN reports that since the COVID-19 pandemic, the country has been struggling to sell its oil at the international market.
Foreign exchange earned from such sales are used by the apex bank in the defence of the naira at the FX market.
In the meantime, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has published detailed information to guide taxpayers and the general public on rates payable as stamp duty.
Mr Abdullahi Ahmad, Director Communications and Liaison Department of the FIRS, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
Ahmed said that the clarification was made following several requests by taxpayers seeking such on the current administration of Stamp Duties Act in the country.
He stated that the clarification guide was contained in a Public Notice signed by Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr Muhammad Nami and was published on the official FIRS website, www.firs.gov.ng.
He quoted Nami as saying “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” he explained.
Nami listed no fewer than 50 types of chargeable transactions that require stamp duty.
He explained that some of the chargeable transactions were bank deposit or transfer, loan agreement, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) related to land, sales agreement, will, tenancy/lease agreement and all receipts.
Nami clarified that the recently inaugurated FIRS Adhesive Stamp was not the same as postage stamp administered by NIPOST for the purposes of delivery of items and documents.
He said that such was therefore not a substitute for the FIRS adhesive stamp, which was produced for the sole purpose of stamp duty payment.
“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, among others to ensure that service providers, contractors and tenants 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)” Nami stated.