There’s No Convenient Time To Pay Taxes – FIRS

FIRS shuts cement, engineering firms for tax evasionBy Ayoola Olaitan

The Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Muhammad Nami, has said that there is no convenient time for tax payments as it rolls out six percent stamp duty on rent, lease and others.

He made this known earlier today, during a webinar session hosted byTV Continental (TVC) on its morning show tagged “Your View”.

According to him “there is never a time when taxation is convenient for everybody to pay. It is never right world wide because it is never right to pay for tax. However, it is a responsibility which individuals must obey.”

Nami refuted claims that the stamp duty would be paid in arrears or lead to increase in rent, positing that since there is a problem in the economy which is associated with the pandemic and resulted into global economic downturn, the stamp duty won’t be implemented immediately.

He pointed out that some states like Lagos are aware that stamp duty is being paid for unchargable transactions before now.

According to him, “it is the responsibility of the tenant to pay stamp duty and you don’t have to give it to your landlord. As a tenant, calculate 0.78% of your rent and pay that fraction at the FIRS office nearer to you or at your bank. You should then fix the stamp duty imprimatur on the tenancy agreement before you sign it with your landlord. It is as simple as that.”

Nami further posited that stamp duty was not a creation of the JTB or leadership of the FIRS that Stamp Duty has been as far back as 1939. It was codified in our laws in 1953 that is before independence. It was consolidated in 2002, published in 2006 and further reworked into the Stamp Duty Act 2004.

He added that, “The Joint Tax Board (JTB) where states are represented consider it necessary to bring the stamp duty act to the attention of Nigerians following the recent launch of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties where the new FIRS Adhesive Stamp Duty was unveiled.”

“As chairman of the JTB, the FIRS was mandated to enlighten Nigerians on stamp duty. That’s why the FIRS published a clarification notice on the stamp duty and we shall continue to educate the public on it,” he said.

He clarified that the 6% stamp duty rate and opined that it is not chargeable across board. It could only be chargeable on rent or lease agreement of above 21 years. If your rent or lease is between 7 and 21 years, the stamp duty rate is 3%, if it is less than 7 years; your stamp duty rate is 0.78%.

“The 0.78% is the rate for most tenants like you and I who live in Suleja or Minna. If your rent is N100, 000 like you said, you only pay 0.78%, which is marginal. Of course those who live in Maitama who pay N10 million as rent will pay more at the same 0.78% because their rent is higher than our own in other parts of Abuja,” he argued.

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