September 17, 2020

Nigerians to pay stamp duties on ATM printouts, some WhatsApp messages – FIRS

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) revealed that Nigerians will now pay stamp duties on some WhatsApp messages, SMS, and messages via any electronic platform acknowledging receipt of funds.

Stamp duties will also be paid by Nigerians on “POS receipts, fiscalised device receipts, Automated Teller Machine (ATM) print-outs”.

Nigerians to pay stamp duty on ATM printouts, some WhatsApp messages - FIRS

FIRS made this information public through a circular released in April which stated that Nigerians will also be required to pay stamp duties on SMS acknowledging receipt of funds.

Giving illustrations on situations, FIRS revealed where Nigerians are expected to pay stamp duties. See one of such illustrations below.

“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 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.”

“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 added.

It also 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.

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