A new policy has been adopted by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), to start charging Nigerians #50 for stamp duties those who used WhatsApp messages, SMS, ATMs, and messages via any electronic platform acknowledging receipt of funds.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says stamp duties would be paid on “POS receipts, focalised device receipts, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) print-outs”.
FIRS explained that Nigerians are expected to pay stamp duties in the following categories: “ABZ Ltd’s chief accounting officer, after receiving a cash payment of N500,000 from Mr XYZ on behalf of ABZ Ltd., composed a message which reads: ‘receipt of N500,000 is hereby acknowledged’ and sent same to Mr XYZ via WhatsApp messenger.
“In this case, the WhatsApp message acknowledging the receipt of N500,000 constitutes a receipt for which stamp duty is payable.
“Mr XYZ is required to make a disclosure of the details of the transaction using the FIRS e-stamp duty platform or to the relevant stamp duties Commissioner. This will lead to assessment and payment of appropriate stamp duties and a consequential issuance of a stamp duty certificate or an acknowledgement.
“Such certificate or acknowledgement will suffice as evidence that stamp duties have been paid and that the electronic receipt has been stamped appropriately.”
The agency adds that “all electronic dutiable instruments or receipts”, including e-mails, short message service (SMS), instant messages (IM), any internet-based messaging service, are subject to stamp duty.
The circular, issued in April, clearly stated that “all printed receipts” and “all electronically generated receipts and any form of electronic acknowledgement of money for dutiable transactions” are liable to duty payment.