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Surveyors question stamp duty imposed by FIRS on rent and leases

rents and tenants

The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers has expressed disappointment over the imposition of stamp duties ranging from 0.78 per cent to six per cent of the value of rents and leases by the Federal Government.

The President, NIESV, Emmanuel Wike, gave the stand of the institute at a press briefing held in Lagos on Friday.

He expressed disappointment with the Federal Inland Revenue Service’s decision to impose extra tax burden on Nigerians despite the catastrophic consequences of COVID-19 on the economy.

“While property is universally acknowledged as a veritable vehicle of recovery from recession, albeit economic depression, it is a gross anathema to introduce a tax regime that will frustrate land and property transactions and development,” Wike said.

He noted the 1.5 per cent ad valorem charges on Deeds, Power of Attorney and Memorandum of Understanding documents would stifle investments in housing and real estate and called for a flat rate stamp duty charge at a maximum rate of N1,000.

Wike said, “Additional ad valorem stamp duty tax will further discourage investment in the real estate sector and exacerbate housing shortage in a country requiring about 17 million housing units to meet its shortfall.

“We hereby advocate a flat rate stamp duty charge in this category instruments at a maximum rate of N1,000.”

He said that the 1.5 per cent stamp duty tax proposed in valuation reports was an aberration since valuation reports did not fall within the definition of property instrument to be subject to stamp duty or any tax.

The NIESV boss added that the ad valorem rate on tenancy and lease agreements and deeds as applied across board was ultra vires.

Wike demanded the rescission of the stamp duty tax regime, noting that what was required of government were incentives, tax cuts and tax holidays, not burdensome taxes.

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