Nigeria: FIRS Gets Nod to Collect Stamp Duty

12 December 2019

The Federal Government has announced that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) will automatically become an agency to collect the N50 Stamp Duty following the passage of the 2019 Finance Bill by the National Assembly which contains an amendment to Stamp Duty Act.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, who addressed State House Correspondents yesterday after Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said the approval of the amendment would resolve the pending litigation over the institution to collect the N50 Stamp Duty.

Ahmed said, "The stamp duty up till now has been a subject of litigation between the Nigerian Postal Service and Federal Inland Revenue Service. So, while the banks, when you make any transfer, charge you N50, these revenues were not accruing to government. They were pulled at the Central Bank and we also feel - and I don't have the facts, that there will be some funds being held by the commercial banks as well.

"The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has itself said that they are holding about N43billion now, but in the new Finance Act that the two houses of National Assembly just passed, there is an amendment that is made to the Stamp Duty Act that relates to the mode of collection.

"The finance bill has made the FIRS as the collecting agency so, that addresses the issue of the litigation. So, going forward, the revenue should be remitted as they are being collected unlike what has happened in the past that the funds were kept in a special account because of the litigation that is going on."

The minister said the FEC had approved a project for the automation of the processes involved in the issuance of import duty exemption certificates as well as vehicle identification and registration number to enhance efficiency and block possible leakage.

She said the portal would be managed by both her ministry and the Nigeria Custom Service (NSC), adding that the vehicle identification number will be available to any user to access information on vehicles.

"The portal is undertaken in the form of a PPP between the ministry of finance and Mrssrs Fore-core Technology Solutions Limited. They are to develop, deploy, manage and transfer back to the ministry. They are to be earning a revenue which is coming from IDEK application fee. We are going to share the revenue in the promotion of 90 percent to the government and 10 percent of Mrssrs Fore-core Technology Solutions limited. They are earning this 10 percent to enable them recover the cost of deployment as well as the management because they will also be the ones managing the project over this 10-year period," she added.

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