By Etuka Sunday
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has declared that it is remains the only federal agency permitted by law to collect Stamp Duties on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Director, Communications and Liaison, FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad disclosed this in a statement, Tuesday in Abuja.
It’s obvious the tussle between FIRS and NIPOST on stamp duty collection may not come an end any time soon, as no genuine steps had ever been taken to resolve the issue.
Recall, last week, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami was quoted to have said that the Finance ACT 2020 recognized NIPOST as the producer of stamp duty in Nigeria and not only that that stamp duty is to be used in authentication and validation of our official document.
He said, “Our efforts regarding the issue of stamp duty collection with other government Institutions have yielded positive results. NIPOST has been recognised as a government agency with statutory and historical authority to be the producer of stamps and recognised for the collection of stamp duties for validation of financial transactions in the country.
“We appreciate Mr President for listening to our complaints, and we extend our gratitude to him and the Senate and House Committees for their intervention in ensuring that justice was done,” he said.
Meanwhile, FIRS said, its attention was drawn to false publications in some newspapers and electronic/social media platforms misquoting a recent speech by the Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy on the administration of Stamp Duties in the country.
It said, “for the avoidance of confusion arising from such publications, the FIRS hereby informs the general public, especially taxpayers, that the Honourable Minister was misquoted as saying that the administration of Stamp Duty was granted to NIPOST by the Finance Act 2020.
“The speech attributed to the Honourable Minister was definitely, and unfortunately, quoted out-of-context.
“For the record, the Honourable Minister merely stated that NIPOST would henceforth produce the ADHESIVE STAMPS required by FIRS to denote Stamp Duties.
“This position is in line with Section 2 of the Stamp Duties Act (as amended by Section 46 of the Finance Act 2020).
“The FIRS, therefore, urges taxpayers, tax practitioners and the general public to ignore this unfortunate attempt to cause confusion by twisting the Honourable Minister’s speech.
“The Honourable Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, is a patriot with unarguable passion for the rule of law and stability of the country.
“The FIRS remains the only federal agency permitted by law to collect Stamp Duties on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Therefore, the FIRS urges all taxpayers to disregard the aforementioned fake news and continue to pay their Stamp Duties charges to the FIRS nationwide. Thank you for paying your tax,” the statement said.