Written by Sarah NEGEDU

N50 Stamp Duty for ’eligible transactions’ only - CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has made clarifications on some misconception over the implementation of the N50 stamp duty imposed on bank customers, saying the charges would be made per transaction and not on every N1, 000 as reported in some quarters.

The apex bank last week, in a circular titled; “Collection and Remittance of Statutory Charges on receipts of Nigeria Postal Service under the Stamp Duties Act,” urged deposit money banks and other financial institutions to support the Federal Government in boosting its revenue through the collection and remittance of statutory charges on receipts to NIPOST.

A statement by the Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Ibrahim Mu’azu, explained that henceforth, irrespective of the amount, a flat rate of N50 would be charged on every transaction above N1, 000 received into customers’ accounts.

According to the spokesman, the guideline for the implementation of the stamp duty on bank transactions applies to eligible transactions only.

Such eligible transactions include all receipts given by a bank or financial institution in acknowledgment of services rendered in respect of teller deposits and electronic transfers for the value of N1, 000 and above.

He said the implementation of the stamp duty at this point in time emanated from a Federal High Court order that the CBN should direct the DMBs under its supervision to commence the collection of the duty on behalf of the Federal Government, in compliance with the provisions of the Stamp Duty Act 2004 and the Federal Government of Nigeria Financial Regulation of 2009.

He said, “Consequently, the DMBs have been directed to commence the collection of the duty thus: Banks are to collect the N50 stamp duty and above, remit same to the Nigerian Postal Services on behalf of the customer.

“The N50 stamp duty is charged per transaction and not per volume. Hence, irrespective of the amount, the sum of N50 is to be charged provided such a transaction is N1,000 and above.”

The CBN however made some exemptions under the caption ‘receipt’ to include, payment of salaries and wages, payments and deposits or self to self whether inter- or intra-bank. The stamp duty will be charged for money received into customers’ accounts via electronic transfers, cash and cheques.

Meanwhile, the N50 stamp duty has been critised by some Nigerians, describing it as an extra burden on the masses. While acknowledging the need to boost government revenue, some bank Customers who spoke withThe Abuja Inquirer say the policy did not consider the low income earners who would be charged the same rate as the elites.

A bank customer, Fatimah Yusuf, said the policy could negate the cashless policy of the central bank, as it would discourage Nigerians from banking.

She said, “It’s bad enough that customers are already overburdened with several bank charges and now this. The CBN would end up working against its cashless policy. There is no way you ask people not to carry cash and yet you charge them for keeping their money in the bank you are trying to encourage them to embrace. It just does not work that way.”

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