Might not be popular as the Value Added Tax and every other tax in recent times, but the Stamp Duty solely under the behest of the Federal Government of Nigeria has continued to pull its revenue-generating weight.
Proving this, a recent report by the Chartered Institute of Nigeria, CITN had revealed that at a time where the need for Internally Generated Revenue cannot be overemphasized, the total of ₦127.04 billion has been collected by the Federal Government as revenue from stamp duty spanning January 2015 and July 2020.
The CITN released this report to prove that Stamp Duty is a viable source of revenue collection for the government emphasizing the resilience it showed even during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- With no stone left unturned, the CITN recommends that the government must look critically into ensuring that the administration of stamp duty is effective enough to support the country’s drive in increasing indirect taxes such as Value Added Tax (VAT) and Stamp Duties (SD) while at the same time reducing direct taxes such as Company Income-tax (CIT), Education Tax, Capital Gain Tax (CGT), among others.
- According to the professional group, the Joint Tax Board must intensify efforts so to enhance public awareness is ensured especially on instruments that are required by law to be stamped and relevant fees payable.
- In direct terms, the group is saying in its words that the Stamp Duties Act should be reviewed, re-organized, re-defined, and simplified. This buttresses the agelong call of professionals to revisit The Stamp Duty Act that has been existing for many decades now.
- Also as a remedy; a group of analysts, a special division of Federal or State High Courts should be assigned to handle stamp duties related matters where stamp duties offenders will be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others who might want to carry out such an act.
How the CITN puts it
“The whole world is presently affected by the Covid-19 pandemic which has obliterated the economy of many nations globally; Nigeria inclusive. There is, therefore, a need for Nigeria to look inward for ways of funding its huge budget and reduce its yearly challenge of budget deficit through increased tax revenue generation”, the institute said.
“The Stamp Duties Act should be reviewed, re-organized, re-defined, simplified and should also state the extent and limit of the Commissioner’s powers, harmonize the list of instruments and increase the rates applicable to reflect current economic realities and the policy direction of the Government concerning job creation to encourage investment”.