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Stamp Duty: FIRS, JTB pick holes in NIPOST bill

The Joint Tax Board (JTB) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Monday faulted some provisions of a bill to unbundle Nigeria Postal Service, which…

The Joint Tax Board (JTB) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Monday faulted some provisions of a bill to unbundle Nigeria Postal Service, which empowers the public postal operator to collect stamp duty for the federal government.

NIPOST and FIRS had been at loggerheads over which of the government’s agencies is constitutionally backed to collect stamp duty taxes in the country. Both are claiming ownership of stamp duty collection.

But JTB and FIRS said the provisions of the bill that gives NIPOST the power to denote, authenticate and validate instruments, as presently drafted, was a duplication of existing legislation particularly the section 4 and 5 of the Stamp Duties Act.

Speaking at a public hearing on the bill organised by the Senate Committee on Communications, the Secretary of JTB, Nana-Aisha Obomeghie, said the bill replicates and muddles provisions regarding the collection of stamp duties that are already contained in the Stamp Duties Act (SDA).

Mr Gbonjubola Matthew, Coordinating Director Special Tax Operation, FIRS, said “Asking the NIPOST to be exclusively in charge of stamp duty will be against the spirit of the constitution.”

The PostMaster General of the Federation, Dr Ismail Adebayo Adewusi urged the National Assembly to expedite work on the bill, saying the present Act was obsolete and inadequate in view of the rapid developments and changes in the industry.

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