Legal Nigeria

‘We’re studying court judgment’ — CITN to take position on Rivers VAT ruling

‘We’re studying court judgment’ — CITN to take position on Rivers VAT ruling

 by Wasilat Azeez 

The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) says it is still studying a court judgement that invalidated the collection of value-added tax (VAT) and personal income tax (PIT) by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in Rivers state.

On Monday, a federal high court in Port Harcourt issued an order restraining the FIRS from collecting VAT and PIT in the state.

But in a statement on Wednesday, Adefisayo Awogbade, registrar/chief executive of CITN, said the professional body would make an “informed position” on the matter after studying the certified true copy of the judgement.

He cited two court cases where courts had declared some provisions of the VAT Act unconstitutional, noting that the Rivers case was “not the first time”.

“In the Registered Trustees of Hotel Owners and Managers Association of Lagos v. A. G. Federation, the court invalidated some of the provisions of the VAT Act,” the statement reads.

” In Ukala v. FIRS, the court nullified the VAT Act. In A.G. Rivers v. F.I.R.S., it has been reported that the court has nullified the VAT Act and empowered the States to impose, demand and collect VAT within their States.

“While the Institute is in possession of the first and second cases mentioned, we are making efforts to get a certified true copy of the third and current case.

“From the foregoing decisions, it is evident that this is not the first time that the VAT Act has been declared unconstitutional.”

He explained that the CITN was initially waiting for the appellate courts to take a definite position on the matter before making comments but changed its decision due to public interest.

“As soon as we receive the certified true copy of the judgement, our legal advisers will study it and advise us accordingly,” the statement further reads.

“When that is done in the next few weeks, the Institute will take an informed position, and the public will be duly communicated.

“We are mindful of our statutory mandate as a tax regulatory professional Institute, and we will not shirk our responsibility to the public in all matters relating to taxation in Nigeria.”

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