By Chris Agabi
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has said it remitted N66 billion as stamp duty revenue into the federation account between January to May this year.
The Executive Chairman, Mr. Muhammad Nami, disclosed this Tuesday in Abuja during the inauguration of the inter-ministerial committee on the audit & recovery of stamp duty and launch of FIRS adhesive stamp.
Giving a breakdown of further collections and remittances he said the total Stamp Duty collection for Jan – Dec 2019 stood at N18bn.
Nami disclosed that the total collection by the revenue agency from January to to June 29th this year is as follows: “Stamp duties remitted by Money Deposit Banks (MDBs) was N20.00bn, stamp duties revenue from stamping of instruments was 7.90bn, amount hitherto warehoused with CBN now remitted to Federation Account was N39.00bn and the total stamp duty remitted into Federation Account from January, 2020 – May, 2020 was N66.00bn.”
He attributed the significant increase in the revenue source to “the dynamism triggered by Finance Act 2019, sums warehoused by the CBN in respect of prior years, deployment of technology and stakeholders collaboration.”
Nami also indicated that the “collection performance of Stamp Duties hitherto witnessed is a tip of the iceberg compared to its potentials.”
He explained that the amendment and effective implementation of the Stamp Duty Act, simplified administrative processes plus the audit and recovery exercise will raise the bar significantly.
The tax expert noted that the dependence on postage stamps for denoting Stamp Duties is one of the factors accounting for low collections in the past.
Also commenting at the event, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Usman, said stamp duties can potentially yield up to N1trn revenue annually if harnessed.
She noted that Buhari led administration was putting in place innovative processes and efficient tax administration bearing in mind the dwindling revenue trend occasioned by the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.
Ahmed explained that given the global economic crisis and the impact on revenues, the need to grow tax revenue had become critical, adding that stamp duties open up a stream of untapped revenue opportunity.