FIRS

Category: Press Release

PUBLIC NOTICE – DEPLOYMENT OF AUTOMATED TAX ADMINISTRATION SOLUTION

CLARIFICATION ON PAYMENT IN INSTALMENTS BY SELF
ASSESSMENT FILERS AS PROVIDED BY THE FINANCE ACT, 2019

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PUBLIC NOTICE – NOTICE TO ANY PERSON WHO DISPOSED CHARGEABLE ASSETS TO FILE CAPITAL GAINS TAX (CGT) RETURNS

CLARIFICATION ON PAYMENT IN INSTALMENTS BY SELF
ASSESSMENT FILERS AS PROVIDED BY THE FINANCE ACT, 2019

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PUBLIC NOTICE – CLARIFICATION ON PAYMENT IN INSTALMENTS

CLARIFICATION ON PAYMENT IN INSTALMENTS BY SELF
ASSESSMENT FILERS AS PROVIDED BY THE FINANCE ACT, 2019

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Recruitment scam – A disclaimer

Recruitment scam - A disclaimer

The  Board and Management of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) hereby notifies the general public of the activities of fraudsters extorting unsuspecting job seekers under the pretense of getting them jobs in the Service.

Already, these criminally-minded persons have defrauded many innocent Nigerians of their hard-earned money through this illegal scheme. Although some of the perpetrators of this illegal job racketeering have been arrested, the Service wishes to dissociate itself from this recruitment scam.

The Service also wishes to reiterate that whenever it decides to carry out recruitment, adverts and notices would be placed in the appropriate channels,  and due process would be followed. This way, no candidate would be required to pay anything to be employed into the Service.

The general public is therefore advised to be wary of carrying out any cash transactions with anybody or group of persons for the purpose of job placements in the Service, and should also report such to the appropriate authorities.

Please be guided.

Signed:

Muhammad Nami

Executive Chairman

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Experts, Stakeholders Canvass Tax Automation At FIRS’ Dialogue

Experts, Stakeholders Canvass Tax Automation At FIRS’ Dialogue

The Federal Government has been advised to explore data and intelligence in order to ease tax collection and improve its revenue base.

Tax experts, speakers, panelists and government functionaries gave the advice at the recently held First Annual National Tax Dialogue,in Abuja, organized by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), with the theme “Taxation in a Post-Covid Economy”.

  In his Keynote Address at the event, President, African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, highlighted the pandemic’s impact on Africa’s economy and the various interventions by the bank and national governments. According to him, Nigeria’s economy shrank “by 3% in 2020 on account of falling oil prices and the effects of the lockdowns on economic activities,” adding that “with shrinkage in oil revenues, debt service payments pose the greatest risk to Nigeria.” 

He stressed further that for Nigeria to overcome the pandemic, “taxes must form a significant percentage of government revenue. Digitalization of tax collection and tax administration is critical to ensure greater transparency of the tax system, widening of the tax base, while mitigating compliance risks and encouraging voluntary tax compliance.”

Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who was chairman of the Dialogue, lauded the FIRS “for its performance in the 2020 fiscal year, despite operating in the most challenging period many of us have experienced. The Service not only collected N4.9 trillion in taxes, achieving 98% of its target; only 30.6% of this was attributed to Petroleum Profits Tax, from what used to be over 50%”.

However, Governor Fayemi urged participants at the event to “interrogate how Nigeria can further deepen the use of technology to improve tax compliance nationally and across subnationals.” He stressed that this was important because “a significant proportion of our population will soon come into the workforce” which is “a golden opportunity to introduce first-time taxpayers to their civic responsibility, by adopting technology.”

Similarly, Executive Secretary, African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), Mr. Logan Wort, harped on the place of technology in generating revenue for the country in a post-Covid economy. Mr. Wort, who joined the Dialogue virtually from South Africa, stated that “Domestic Resource Mobilisation (DRM) is expected to contribute at least 75% to 90% on average per country” in the post-Covid era, adding that Nigeria and other African countries should note that “improved tax revenue will have to take prime position” in the scheme of things.

Mr. Wort urged Nigeria to pay serious attention to e-commerce and the digital economy sector where big, trans-national digital conglomerates like Google, Netflix and Uber operate and make huge, tax-free profits as a possible way of increasing tax revenue generation. He said Nigeria should borrow a leaf from Ghana in e-commerce taxation, which is projected to fetch Ghana $450 million in tax revenue.

In his recap of the keynote address as Chairman of the first panel session, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, urged the AfDB president to support Lagos State as it grappled with the challenges of being the former capital city of Nigeria as well as the issues foisted upon it by the pandemic.

Minister for Communications and Digital Economy,  Dr. Ali Isa Pantami, who chaired the second panel session, stressed that taxpayers should be treated as kings and canvassed better funding of the FIRS.

Nigeria’s first female professor of taxation, Prof.(Mrs) Teju Somorin; President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Prof. Muhammad Mainoma, Member; FIRS Board, Mrs. Adetola Ehile-Aigbangbee; Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mr. Mele Kyari; Executive Secretary, African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), Mr. Logan Wort; Mr. Yomi Olugbenro of Deloitte Nigeria, Taiwo Oyedele, Principal Partner, PWC; and Mr. Tajudeen Akande of PKF served as discussants on the panels of discussion at the Dialogue. 

 

  Among others, both panels of discussion unanimously agreed and resolved that tax administration should leverage on technology across the entire taxpayer identification, registration and filing process to ease compliance and administration. Also, discussants made a strong case to link the National Identification Number (NIN) with the taxation processes.

 

 The panelists observed that the funding threshold established for the FIRS in 2007 was no longer adequate for the Service to discharge its functions optimally. Consequently, they urged the Federal Government to increase funding support for the FIRS so that the Service can complete work on its 17-Storey Revenue House Headquarters in Abuja where it planned to establish a data centre based on proprietary technology.    

While delivering the vote of thanks, Minister of State, Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clement Agba, noted that the theme of the Dialogue “is most appropriate, timely and apt”, stressing that “this national dialogue has understandably witnessed a torrent of ideas, information, statistics, interpretation and vision on how best we can improve on solving the current revenue challenges of the government”.

 

He added: “The role of the media in strategically communicating our thoughts to the people cannot be over-empasised. It is therefore very important that the views expressed here today are disseminated to the wider readership and audience and clearly this task has been in the very capable hands of the men and women of the Fourth Estate of the Realm to whom we owe our gratitude.”

Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad

Director Communications and Liaison

Federal Inland Revenue Service

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COVID-19:MESSAGE FROM THE Executive Chairman FIRS TO TAXPAYERS

COVID-19:MESSAGE FROM THE EC FIRS TO TAXPAYERS

Dear Taxpayers
 
As you are all aware, Nigeria has so far recorded more than thirty cases of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). This global pandemic is already impacting social, economic and other activities across the world. In Nigeria, the Federal Government through its relevant agencies such as the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is doing all it can to contain and minimize the spread of the virus in Nigeria and we are confident their efforts would be successful.
 
On our part at FIRS, we have launched our business continuity plan (BCP), and we are taking measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff, taxpayers, stakeholders and visitors.
 
As our key stakeholder, please note that while our offices remain open, we have taken concrete steps to support you during these challenging times, whilst minimizing any disruption to tax administration and taxpayer services. To this end, we wish to inform you that:
 
(a)The FIRS has various e-platforms for filing of tax returns, payment of taxes and application for Tax Clearance Certificates and we urge taxpayers to, as much as possible, utilise such e-platforms. This will not only relieve taxpayers of the need to physically visit tax offices for this purpose but also more efficient and timely delivery.

(b)Taxpayers are at liberty to engage with the FIRS, via electronic mail (e-mail), in line with the Finance Act, 2020. Taxpayers can also contact us on the FIRS Contact Centre on 0909 74444444 or 0909 71111111. If you still require visiting any of our offices, we ask that you adhere strictly to globally recommended social distancing rules and be aware that the following general hygiene practices will be applied:
 

i. All meetings with taxpayers are limited to no more than ten (10) people at a time.


ii. All FIRS offices are being equipped with infrared temperature measuring devices. Staff, taxpayers and all visitors entering our premises will be screened with a temperature scanner at all entry points. Persons with temperatures higher than 37.5°C may be denied access to the facility. Please note that the screening will be conducted by trained personnel and without physical contact.


iii. All FIRS offices have been equipped with hand sanitizers, and we expect taxpayers to make use of these ahead of engaging with our staff. We also have hand washing liquids and soaps in our restrooms.


iv. Additional procedures have been put in place and will be utilized to ensure that all our offices and work surfaces are regularly cleaned and sanitized, using appropriate disinfectants recommended by the NCDC and the World Health Organization.


v. Our staff have also been provided with additional protective gear such as gloves and face masks where required. 

The Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria have also issued various palliatives to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on the economy. The FIRS will require full cooperation and support from all our taxpayers in order to collect revenue that Government will utilise to continue to provide infrastructure, health services and other palliatives to all Nigerians.


On our part, we will continue to work with relevant agencies of Government to provide necessary reliefs to taxpayers to lessen the impact of this pandemic on businesses and other economic activities by taxpayers. To this end, we are offering the following palliatives to our taxpayers:

 

1 The FIRS is extending the timeline for filing of value added tax and withholding tax to the last working day of the month, following the month of deduction.


2 The due date for filing Companies Income Tax returns is hereby extended by one month.


3 Tax payers already registered on e-filing platform are at liberty to submit all returns via efiling.firs.gov.ng, alternatively please submit your returns to: For:

 

a) Large taxpayers – oil & gas (Upstream) = ltoupstream@firs.gov.ng
b) Large taxpayers – oil & gas (Downstream) = ltodownstream@firs.gov.ng
c) Large taxpayers – oil & gas (Servicing) = ltoservicing@firs.gov.ng
d) Large taxpayers – non oil (financial) = ltononoilfinancial@firs.gov.ng
e) Large taxpayers – non oil (Manufacturing) = ltononoilmanufacturing@firs.gov.ng
 f) Large taxpayers – Abuja= ltoabuja@firs.gov.ng
g) Large taxpayers – Kano= ltokano@firs.gov.ng
h) large taxpayers – Ibadan= ltoibadan@firs.gov.ng
i) Large taxpayers – Port Harcourt= ltoportharcourt@firs.gov.ng
j) All Medium taxpayers = mto@firs.gov.ng
k) All Small and Micro taxpayers = msto@firs.gov.ng
l) All Government Business taxpayers = mto@firs.gov.ng
j) All Stamp Duty taxpayers = stampduty@firs.gov.ng

 

​4 Taxpayers who wish to file their returns with the FIRS without an audited account can file same, provided that the relevant audited accounts are submitted unfailingly within two months after the revised due date of filing.


5 The FIRS also intend to publish on its website, information requests for desk reviews and tax audits, and create a portal where such information can be uploaded to our database for online access review.


The Management and Board of the FIRS will continue to monitor the situation and abide by the federal, state and local authorities’ instructions on COVID-19. Be rest assured that we will constantly update you on developments, that may affect your businesses, well-being and the Service. In addition, where the need arises, appropriate action would be taken by Management if the situation portends immediate threat to you, our staff and visitors to our offices.

 

The humankind has surmounted various challenges throughout history, and we believe that COVID-19 is not an exception. As we draw strength and hope from each other, let us continue to pray for the safety of all Health Workers, Doctors and Scientists, trying to develop a vaccine for this virus. The Management and Board of the FIRS is confident that we will emerge stronger as a Race from this experience.


I pray for your safety and that of your loved ones, and trust that you will be vigilant and keep yourself, family members and friends safe.


Thank you all

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A BRIEF ON STAMP DUTIES AT THE INAUGURATION OF COMMITTEE

A BRIEF ON STAMP DUTIES AT THE INAUGURATION OF THE INTER-MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE ON THE AUDIT & RECOVERY OF STAMP DUTIES AND LAUNCH OF FIRS ADHESIVE STAMP Title

Mr. Muhammad Nami, Executive Chairman
Federal Inland Revenue Service
JUNE, 2020
His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, ably represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation
His Excellency, the President of the Senate
His Excellency, Speaker, House of Representatives
The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation & Minister of Justice
The Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning
Members of the National Assembly
Board Members, Federal Inland Revenue Service
Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

Introduction

It is my honour and privilege to make this presentation at this auspicious occasion, which brings together important stakeholders in the public and private sectors to deliberate on the audit and recovery of stamp duties and launch of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) adhesive stamps.

I sincerely thank all our stakeholders and partners for being a part of this epoch making event.

Background

The existence of Stamp Duty in Nigeria predates independence going by the 1st commencement date of 1st April 1939. (i.e. Ordinance 41 of 1939 and subsequent amendments).

Stamp Duties administration is governed by the Stamp Duties Act, CAP S8, LFN 2004 (as amended).

As the manner of business transactions continues to evolve and change pattern, so also the law on Stamp Duties. The Stamp Duties Act has therefore undergone several amendments over the years up to the Finance Act of 2019. The most recent amendment recognizes technology, economic realities, e-commerce and cross border transactions.

Stamp Duty is essentially a duty chargeable on both physical and electronic instruments. The Stamp Duties Act defines duty to mean “any stamp duty for the time being chargeable under any other Act and also includes any fee chargeable hereunder“.

The stamp is used to denote a dutiable instrument either electronically, use of an adhesive stamp or inked with a block die in acknowledgement for duty paid. 

Section 2 of the Stamp Duties Act defined “stamp” as “an impressed pattern or mark by means of an engraved or inked block die as an adhesive stamp or an electronic stamp or an electronic acknowledgement for denoting any duty or fee“.

Furthermore, as the world becomes more global, COVID 19 has further limited physical interactions, electronic payments acknowledgement of duties at a time like this is a must.

2019 Amendments to the Stamp Duties Act

The Finance Act 2019 (Sections 52-56) amendment to the Stamp Duties Act has clearly defined responsibilities for the administration of Stamp duties in Nigeria and jurisdiction of participating taxing authorities. The FA 2019 Act has laid to rest;

  • ambiguities as to parties responsible for “the imposition of stamp duty”;
  • With Finance Act, 2019, FIRS is the sole competent tax authority to assess, collect and account for stamp duty in Nigeria.
  • definition of stamp duty to mean an evidence or acknowledgement of the payment of the appropriate fee, and
  • the fact that a stamp duty could take the form of an engraved, inked block die, an electronic Stamp or an electronic acknowledgement for denoting any duty or fee.

The Schedule to the Stamp Duties Act contains a list of dutiable and exempted items. The dutiable items have been expanded under the FA 2019 to include electronic receipt or electronic transfer for money deposited in any bank; It further makes an upward review of duty from N4.00 to N50.00 on receipts or transfer between MDBs customers relating to N10,000 and above per transaction.

Chargeable Transactions

Fixed Duty Instruments:Ad-Valorem Instruments:
  • Power of Attorney (PoA)
  • Deed of Assignment
  • Certificates of Occupancy (C of O)
  • Sales Agreement
  • Proxy forms
  • Appointment of Receiver
  • Legal Mortgage or Debentures
  • Tenancy or Lease Agreements
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  • Insurance Policies
  • Joint Venture Agreements (JVA)
  • Contract Agreements
  • Guarantor’s form
  • Vending Agreement
  • Ordinary Agreements Receipts
  • Promissory Notes
  • Charter-Party
  • Contract Notes

 

Stamp Duty Administration


Stamp duties is basically charged in two forms, either ad valorem; where duty payable is a percentage of the consideration on an instrument or a fixed sum irrespective of the consideration on dutiable instrument or document.

The Stamp Duty Commissioner is appointed by the relevant tax authority (either Federal or State) as prescribed by jurisdictional authority to administer the Act.

His/her functions are to administer the provision of the Act and to supervise the Stamp Duties office; adjudicating/assessment, stamping, imposition of penalties where necessary, ensuring the security of stamped instruments, and accounting for duties collected.

Relevant Taxing Authority

The Federal Inland Revenue Service, by section 4(1) of the Stamp Duties Act, is the only competent authority to impose, charge and collect Stamp Duties upon instruments specified in the Schedule of the Stamp duties Act where such duties relate to matters between a company and an individual, group or body of individuals. 

The relevant tax authority in a State, by section 4(2) of the Stamp Duties Act, is empowered to collect Stamp duties on instruments executed by individuals at such rate as may be determined by the Act.

Previously, the FIRS collected Stamp duties on instruments executed by an individual resident in the Federal Capital Territory. However, this has ceased upon the creation of the FCT-Internal Revenue Service.

Review of Stamp Duties Collection Performance

  • Total Stamp Duty collection for Jan – Dec 2019 was N18billion.
  • Total collection by FIRS from January 2020 to June 29th 2020 is as follows:
 
 N
Stamp duties remitted by Money Deposit Banks (MDBs)20.00bn
Stamp duties revenue from stamping of instruments7.90bn
Stamp duties revenue from stamping of instruments39.00bn
Total stamp duty remitted into Federation Account from January, 2020 – May, 202066.00bn
  • ​​This significant leap arose from the dynamism triggered by Finance Act 2019, sums warehoused by the CBN in respect of prior years, deployment of technology and stakeholders collaboration, etc.
Adhesive Stamp
 
  • The collection performance of Stamp Duties hitherto witnessed is a tip of the iceberg compared to its potentials. 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 dependence on postage stamps for denoting Stamp Duties is one of the factors accounting for low collection performance in the past.
  • The introduction of the FIRS Stamp Duties Adhesive Stamp will, among other things:
    • plug the revenue sink-hole;
    • enable proper accountability and transparency;
    • simplify administration of Stamp Duties; and
    • reduce disputes.
  • The FIRS is prepared to reposition Stamp Duties as the next major revenue source for Nigeria.
  • As revenue from oil and gas continues to dwindle due to global fall in demand and price, indirect taxes such as stamp duty remain the viable and sustainable alternative revenue source for funding budgetary requirements by the Nigerian Government.
  • Let us use this gathering, as partners and stakeholders in the development of our dear country, to refocus our efforts on developing a tax system that works for all.


On behalf of the Board, Management and staff of the FIRS, I register my sincere appreciation to the leadership of the National Assembly for their support and encouragement to the Service.

My special thanks goes to the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning for always being there for the Service.

The FIRS is open to engagement with all stakeholders for the purposes of repositioning the tax system for the benefit of our dear country.

We therefore invite all and sundry to come join hands with us in the task of building a virile tax system that will be a pride of all.

Conclusion

Let me leave with us, the words of a former American President, Benjamin Franklin who said, and I quote “In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes”

Always remember that “it pays to pay your tax”.​

THANK YOU.​

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House rent agreement, C of O, others must carry stamp duty, says FIRS

House rent agreement, C of O, others must carry stamp duty, says FIRS

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has alerted Nigerians and others resident in the country to make sure that documents pertaining to rent or lease agreements for their homes or offices, Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) as well as a list of other common business-related transaction instruments are subject to authentication with the new FIRS Adhesive Stamp duty.
 
This is necessary in order to give these instruments the force of law and make them legally binding on all parties involved in such transactions. The FIRS issued the alert on Thursday in a statement by Director, Communications and Liaison Department, FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad.
 
The new FIRS Adhesive Stamp Duty was launched in Abuja on Tuesday June 30, 2020, at the official inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties.
 
In the statement, Executive Director, FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, stated that “chargeable transactions under the Stamp Duties Act as amended in the Finance Act 2019 are in two categories – Fixed Duty Instruments and Ad-Valorem Instruments.”
 
Mr. Nami continued: “The following are the chargeable transactions in the Fixed Duty Instruments category:  Power of Attorney (PoA); Certificate of Occupancy (C of O); Proxy form; Appointment of Receiver; Memorandum of Understanding (MoU); Joint Venture Agreements (JVA); Guarantor’s form; and Ordinary Agreements Receipts.”
 
“While ad-Valorem Instruments chargeable under the Stamp Duties Act are Deed of Assignment; Sales Agreement; Legal Mortgage or Debentures; Tenancy or Lease Agreements; Insurance Policies; Contract Agreements; Vending Agreement; Promissory Notes; Charter-Party; and Contract Notes.
 
“Stamp duty is basically charged in two forms, either ad valorem where duty payable is a percentage of the consideration on an instrument or a fixed sum irrespective of the consideration on dutiable instrument or document.” 
 
“The FIRS enjoins members of the public to make sure that any of the above-listed instruments they give or receive in the course of their business or official transactions have the new FIRS Adhesive Stamp Duty affixed or stamped on them to authenticate or legalize such Instruments,” Mr. Nami stressed.
 
The new FIRS Adhesive Stamp Duty is available in all FIRS offices nationwide.
 
Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad
Director, Communications and Liaison Department 
Federal Inland Revenue Service 
July 2, 2020​

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