By Elizabeth Adegbesan
There are indications that some banks are charging N50 stamp duty fee on deposits into savings account below N10,000 in violation of the provisions of the Finance Bill.
Prior to the enactment of the Finance Bill, banks charged N50 stamp duty on all third party induced deposits into customers’ account.
This practice was however abolished by section 54, subsection 3 of the Finance Act which states; “Notwithstanding the provisions of the Stamp Duties Acts, electronic receipts or electronic transfers for money deposited in any bank or any banker, on any type of account, to be accounted for and expressed to be received of persons to whom the same is to be accounted for of amounts of N10,000.00 upwards will attract a singular and one off-duty of the sum of N50. 00.”
Vanguard investigation however revealed that some banks are violating this provision by charging N50 stamp duty for deposits below N10,000 into savings accounts since February 1, 2020 when the bill took effect.
Further investigation also showed that banks differ on their stipulation for stamp duty charges on deposits in both savings and current accounts as some say the threshold for savings and current account is N10,000 while others say the threshold for charging stamp duty is for deposits and electronic transfers above N10,000 for savings account and transactions above N1,000 for deposits in current account.
A Guarantee Trust Bank reply on messenger says: “Thank you for talking to us, Please be informed that in line with CBN new directives, stamp duty now applies to all accounts. N50 will be charged on our savings account on all deposits and electronic transfers from N10,000 and above, while N50 will be charged on current account on all deposits and electronic transfers from N1000 and above. However, please note that deposits made by self and transfers made to self within the same bank is exempted from the charge. Regards.”
An Ecobank Customer Service Manager, who spoke on anonymity said: “The charge is for both savings and current accounts and charged on deposits from N10,000 above in all accounts exempting electronic transfers. “
Narrating their experiences with their banks, some mobile money and bank agents who spoke to Vanguard disclosed that they are charged N50 stamp duty for deposits below N10,000 in their savings account while some do not understand the stipulation of the bill on stamp duty.