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Stamp Duties in Nigeria – a rude awakening!

This article was published in The Guardian newspaper on 29 July 2020. Below is an excerpt from the article.

In the last 5 years, stamp duty in Nigeria has gained prominence as a regular bank charge, with many bank customers protesting alleged “unnecessary/unauthorised deductions” by the banks. This push back can be attributed to the low level of awareness, among Nigerians regarding stamp duties.

Stamp duty is a government (Federal or State) levy on written or electronic transaction documents, as prescribed by the Stamp Duties Act (SDA). It is charged at a flat rate or a percentage of the transaction/instrument value (taking into cognisance the nature of the instrument).

Despite its huge potential, it remains an “untapped” revenue source, only wielded during incorporation of companies, dealings on the stock exchange, tendering evidence in court and perfection of title to property. The SDA was barely enforced under the misconception that stamp duty was only required for admissibility of instruments in court.

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