Sequel to reverting stamp duties to Nigerian Postal Service(NIPOST), it will soon be a criminal offence for anyone who fails to fix at least fifty Naira adhesive stamp on all receipts evidencing vehicle business transaction.
Also included are other goods and services, involving the issuance of a receipt for a sum amounting to N10,000 and above.
Section 89(2) of the Stamp Duties Act CAP S8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 requires that every Receipt, Voucher, Contract note, Agreement etc. given by any person in acknowledgement of goods purchased or services rendered should be denoted by an adhesive Postage Stamp.
While Section 92 of that Act makes it a criminal offence punishable on conviction if any person: (a) Gives a receipt for any good/service up to one thousand Naira(N1,000) but not duly stamped or (b) Refuses to give a receipt duly stamped where a receipt will be liable to duty or (c) Upon the payment to the amount of N1,000 or upwards, gives a receipt for a sum not amounting to N1,000 or separates/divides the amount paid with the intent to evade duty.
Speaking on the development in her office recently, the Nigerian Postal Service’s Deputy Zonal Manager, Corporate Communications, Valerie Bolanle Ekeogu said, ‘’ it is true that receipts in acknowledgement of vehicles bought, goods purchased and services rendered must be denoted by postage stamp as evidence of payment.
For example, If you buy a car from an auto company or a car dealer, it is expedient that the receipt they give must be denoted with fifty Naira adhesive postage stamp.’’
‘’ The reason is,’’ she explained, ‘if there is a problem with the car over ownership in the future and the case is taken to court, the stamp will be evidence that the car was paid for at a stipulated date.
“There could be an instance where the stolen vehicle is sold to another person and when the car is eventually found, if there is a dispute over who owns the car and the court has to decide the true owner, there would be a problem for the true owner, if he or she cannot produce a receipt denoted with fifty naira stamp.
‘’So, each time you are engaged in a transaction that involves the items mentioned in Section 89(2) of the Stamp Duties Act which also include rent, lease or sales of landed property, you must insist on collecting receipt denoted by at least fifty naira stamp and failure to give a receipt not duly stamped is tantamount to a criminal offence punishable on conviction.’’
On when it will take effect, she said, ‘’we want to create awareness because Nigerians need to be fully informed on the new development. We need to let people know that from henceforth, the adhesive stamp must be fixed on all receipts evidencing transaction of ten thousand naira and above.’’
According to her, the Postal Service Act Cap N127 has empowered NIPOST to produce and sell adhesive stamps on behalf of the Federal Government for various purposes. So, these stamps are available in all NIPOST offices across the country. People will have no problem getting the stamps.
A statement issued by NIPOST on the notification of the Stamp Duty Act recently also re-emphasized the determination of the Federal Government to effectively implement the Act.
The statement reads thus: “The Accountant General of the Federation in July 2006 issued a Federal Treasury Circular directing all MDAs to be fixing #50.00 adhesive stamps on all receipts evidencing transaction of one thousand Naira(N1,000) which was later reviewed to ten thousand Naira and above. Such receipts include vehicles purchase, sales of goods and services, contract, contract notes, charter party, lease or rent receipt, warrant of goods, notary act, bill of lading, memorandum of understanding.
Recall that sometimes in August 2020, there was a controversy between NIPOST and FIRS over who should collect stamp duties after NIPOST reacted to claims by the FIRS that it is operating an illegal stamp duty account.
However, NIPOST denied the accusation describing it as false and a statement meant to mislead the public. After that event, the Minister of Communications, Ali Patani informed Nigerians that NIPOST has reclaimed the collection of stamp duty charges from FIRS.
That development brought to an end 3 years of disputes between two Federal Government agencies on who should rightly collect stamp duty on behalf of the Federal Government.
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