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We have appealed Rivers court judgment on VAT collection – FIRS

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has disclosed that it has appealed a recent judgment of the federal high court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Value Added Tax (VAT) collection.

This was contained in a statement released on Sunday by the FIRS spokesperson, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad.

Recall that the court lastweek issued an order restraining FIRS from collecting VAT and Personal Income Tax (PIT) in the state.

In its ruling, the court directed the Rivers state government to take charge of the collection.

The landmark judgement also implies that other state governments can follow and collect VAT in their jurisdictions.

But FIRS said it has filed a stay of execution and advised the public to maintain a status-quo on the payment of the taxes.

“This is to inform the general public that the Federal Inland Revenue Service has lodged an appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court Port Harcourt Judicial Division delivered by Honourable Justice Stephen Pam, in SUIT NO. FHC/PH/CS/149/2020-ATTORNEY GENERAL OF RIVERS STATE v. FEDERAL INLAND REVENUE SERVICE & ANOTHER,” FIRS said.

“We have also sought an injunction pending appeal and a Stay of Execution of the said judgment.

“As the decision is being appealed and in view of the pending applications for injunction and stay of execution which the FIRS has filed in court against the judgement, members of the public are advised to continue complying with the Value Added Tax obligations until the matter is resolved by the appellate courts in order to avoid accruing the consequent penalties and interest for non-compliance.”

On Wednesday, the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) said it would study the court judgement before taking official positions.

Adefisayo Awogbade, registrar/chief executive of CITN, cited two cases where courts had declared some provisions of the VAT Act unconstitutional, noting that the Rivers case was “not the first time”.

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