The Stamp Duties Act (SDA) is 78 years old. It has not been significantly amended since its inception. In recent times, the Federal Government of Nigeria was advised on the capacity of the law to generate about N2Trillion in taxes annually. Efforts have since then been deployed to take benefit of the opportunities of the SDA. Quite interestingly, the efforts have been dissipated by different agencies of the Federal and Municipal Governments, often acting at cross purposes. The Courts have had a filled day pronouncing, most times, on the illegality of the actions of the State actors, principally because the SDA, as worded, does not support their intentions and actions to tax a relatively modern economy. This should be rational enough to appreciate – how does a 78 year old law speak to the realities of the current age? For example, how will the SDA have envisaged the possibilities of paperless documentation!
In Q4 2016, one of the State actors, seeking to take benefit of the fiscal advantages of an improved SDA, instigated a process for a substantial amendment of the SDA.
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