The Stamp Duties Act requires that all written instruments, including instances where any property or interest in property is or are transferred or leased to any person, must be stamped.
Generally, Stamp Duties is charged at the rate of 75 kobo for every N200 of the consideration of certain real estate transactions like mortgages, while for conveyances or the transfer or sale of real property, the stamp duties rate is 75kobo for every N50. The Stamp Duties rate for lease and rental agreements is 16kobo for every N200 of the consideration of the lease or rental agreement.
Any written document that is not stamped is not allowed to be received in any judicial proceeding in Nigeria until the stamp duty and the resulting penalty for the non-payment of the stamp duty is paid.
The complex nature of collecting stamp duties as it relates to contract notes was once confused in the stock market with stockbrokers claiming that they are being threatened by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST). However, the controversial issues had since been resolved. For the purpose of clarification, the provisions in the Stamp Duty Act which prescribe that stamp duties on certain categories of documents such as agreements, contract notes among others, could be denoted by adhesive stamps is a demonstration of government concern for cost efficiency achievable through lower compliance cost and minimal cost of administration. This arrangement of convenience does not in itself imply the ceding of FIRS stamp duties collection responsibility to any agency. The responsibility for stamp duty collection is solely vested on FIRS. With specific reference to the collection of duties on contract notes, FIRS is to collect all stamp duties payable through the Commissioner of Stamp Duties, while NIPOST engages in the supplies of adhesive stamps where the duty payer excises the option to do so.
There are fines and other penalties for any failure to pay stamp duties on any written instrument that is not exempted from the payment of stamp duty.
Again in Lagos State, the flat Stamp Duty rate of 2% of the consideration of the property transaction is charged when applying for Governor’s consent to the transfer of any interest in a landed property.