19 April 2012

Nigeria: FIRS to Review Capital Gains Tax Act - Stamp Duty Act - AG Chairman

THE Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it will soon review the Capital Gains Tax Act and the Stamp Duty Act to make their provisions easier to understand and implement.

The Acting Chairman of FIRS, Alhaji Kabir Mashi disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday at a workshop on Optimum Revenue Generation organised for workers in the agency.

Capital gain refers to profits made from investments in capital assets such as bonds, stock, and real estate.

The government imposes taxes on these profits, which are referred to as capital gains taxes.

Mashi said taxes from capital gains, personal income and stamp duties were areas that had traditionally contributed the least to the total tax collection.

'This position must, however, be reversed if we are to meet our targets and ensure that these taxes begin to make substantial contribution to overall revenue collection,' he said.

On stamp duty, Mashi said that the FIRS had about 24 stamp duty offices across the country, but had not been able to optimally utilise this source.

'These offices are supposed to provide services to the tax payers and bring in significant revenue to government.

'We must work very hard to justify government's investment in the Service and also the investment the Service had made in terms of training, improved welfare, working conditions and provision of better working tools,' he said.

The country's Stamp At requires tax to be paid on the transfer of certain documents, while the FIRS issues an official stamp on such documents to accord them legal status.

On personal income tax, Mashi said the amended Act of 2011 provided a broad platform for improving overall personal income tax administration and increase revenue from the area.

According to him, the FIRS management has put in place several tools to ease inherent challenges such as the Tax Administration Self Assessment Regulation of 2011, which has been signed and gazetted.

He implored tax officials to familiarise themselves with the regulations.

The Acting Chairman recalled that in spite of the challenges of revenue shortfall in government, the FIRS surpassed it target of N3.625 trillion in 2011 to N4.628 trillion.

'While this feat is a commendable feat, we cannot rest on our oars," Mashi said.

The workshop was Mashi's first official interaction with workers since he succeeded Mrs Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru, whose tenure ended on April 9, 2012.

In his remarks, Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, a tax consultant, told the workers that the review of the tax laws on capital gains and stamp duties were 'long overdue'.

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