The federal government says it is ready to support the 36 states to recover the backlog of stamp duties and generate more revenues for the country.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN assured of the support in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Gwandu, in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mr Malami spoke during the virtual meeting with the attorney-generals of the states and the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service and members of the Joint Tax Board.
He called for the support and cooperation of the attorney-generals and the Joint Tax Board on the proposed audit and recovery of the backlog of stamp duties from January 15, 2016 to June 30, 2020.
The minister cited Section 111 of the Stamp Duty Act which states that “all duties, fines, penalties and debts due to the Government of the Federation imposed by this Act shall be recoverable in a summarily manner in the name of the Attorney General of the Federation or the State.”
He noted that by Paragraph 7, Item B of Part II of the Second Schedule to the Constitution and Section 4(2) of Stamp Duty Act, the state governments are empowered to collect stamp duties in respect of transactions between individuals residing in their respective States.
The federal government recently set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Audit and Recovery of backlogs of stamp duties.
The Committee, chaired by Mr Malami, was inaugurated by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, on June 30.
Membership of the Committee are drawn from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, Central Bank of Nigeria and Federal Inland Revenue Service.
The Stamp Duties were originally captured in the Stamp Duties Act 1939 (Ordinance 41 of the 1939) and amended by numerous Acts and various resolutions and contained in the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Recently, the Finance Act 2019 amendment to the Stamp Duties Act, particularly Section 52 to 56, clearly defined the responsibilities for the administration of Stamp Duties in Nigeria and jurisdiction of participating taxing authorizes, as well as explained that the Federal Inland Revenue Service is the competent tax authority to administer, assess, collect, and account for stamp duty in the country.
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