Unbelievable: Tenants to Pay Six Per Cent Stamp Duty Charges

Landlords and property agents in Nigeria have been instructed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to include six percent Stamp Duty charge on all tenancy and lease agreements.

The FIRS instructs landlords/ property agents to remit all such collections to the service to avoid running foul of the Stamp Duty Act.

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The directive was issued via a statement by the FIRS Director, Communications and Liaison, Department Abdullahi Ahmad, on Wednesday.

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“Property-related transactions like tenancy or lease agreement fall under the Ad Valorem category of the stamp duty which attracts six per cent duty payable in percentage of the total value or sum of the tenancy or lease,” Ahmad explained in the statement.

According to Ahmad, the burden of payment of the six per cent “lies on the beneficiary of the tenancy or lease agreement, whom the Stamp Duty Act identified as the tenant or renter.”

He added that “the responsibility of collection and remittance fall on the landlord or agent in charge of the property for lease or rent. The party making the payment shall have the obligation to account for the applicable stamp duties.”

Some other Stamp Duty types and their rates according to the statement are; Appraisement or Valuation of Property – .5 per cent; Certificate of Occupancy and Partnership – N1,000 flat rate; Gift of Land – 1.5 per cent and Legal Mortgage – 0.375 per cent.

Others are Legal Mortgage (Upstamping) – 0.375 per cent; Deed of Conveyance or Transfer on Sale of Property – 1.5 per cent; Memorandum of Understanding (Related to Land, Sales, Joint Venture, Surrender, Subdivision Agreements – 1.5 per cent; Power of Attorney (Irrevocable/Land Related) – 1.5 per cent and Sales Agreement – 1.5 per cent.

Stamp Duties payment is enabled by the Stamp Duties Act (SDA) 1939, as amended by numerous Acts and various resolutions contained in the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. The SDA also provides a list of documents in its schedule and the duty payable on each.

The Finance Act 2019 states that: “the Federal Inland Revenue Service shall be the only competent authority to impose, charge and collect duties upon instruments specified in the Schedule to this Act if such instrument relates to matters executed between a company and an individual, group or body of individuals.”

The total Stamp Duty collection for 2019 was N18 billion according to the FIRS

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