FG Begins Implementation of Electronic Transfer Levy, Debits Millions of Nigerians
The Nigerian government has begun the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy,
Recall that Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed in August 2022, signed the regulation pursuant to Section 89A(3) of the Stamp Duties Act Cap. S8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 as amended by the Finance Act of 2021.
The regulation provides guidance for the imposition, administration, collection and remittance of the Electronic Money Transfer Levy contained in the 2020 Finance Act.
The N50 levy is charged on electronic transfer of money deposited in any bank or financial institution, on any account, on the sum of N10,000.00 or more.
The revenue derived from the EMT levy is shared based on derivation and distributed at 15% to the Federal Government and Federal Capital Territory, 50% to the state governments, and 35% to the 774 local governments.
For any equivalent of receipts carried out in other currencies, the levy will be charged at the exchange rates determined by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The regulation appoints the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as the administrator of the Levy with the responsibility to check, collect and give an account of the levy.
It also mandates receiving banks to collect and remit to the FIRS within 24 hours or the next working day. The receiving bank is required to deduct the levy across the account in the event that the customer does have a bank account with the bank.
Nigerians raise alarm
Many Nigerians raised alarm on social media on Sunday, January 8, 2023, when they saw that their accounts were debited with various sums.
The debit took them unaware as there has been no mention of the levy in any media reports.
According to them, the levy is against the cashless policy of the CBN and will encourage cash transactions. KPMG, the audit and tax advisory company commended the Minister of Finance for the implementation of the Levy.