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Tribunal orders ex-NBA President to pay FIRS N248.5m



The Tax Appeal Tribunal, Abuja on Wednesday, ordered a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Joseph Daudu (SAN), to pay the sum of N.248.5 million to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as tax assessments.

The sum comprised N176, 565,016.74 as Value Added Tax (VAT) from 2010-2017 and N71, 987,564.52 as Withholding Tax (WHT) from 2010-2017.

Daudu had challenged an alleged N1.2 billion tax error in his taxation by FIRS at the tribunal.

The ex-NBA chief said FIRS erred over the assessments of his Withholding Tax (WHT), Personal Income Tax and Value Added Tax (VAT) from 2010 to 2017.

He specifically expressed dissatisfaction with the decision to assess him on WHT and VAT to the tune of N1.2 billion.

In the judgment, the tribunal said the appellant was liable to interest on the judgment sum and interest at the prevailing Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rediscount rate from the date of judgment until judgment debt was liquidated.

The Chairman of the tribunal, Alice Iriogbe, who delivered the judgment, said the panel formulated five principles in order to arrive at its decision.

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These are whether or not the appellant as a legal practitioner, who did not deal in primary goods should be assessed on WHT and whether or not the tribunal can validly make an order against Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) which is not a party in the appeal.

Others are whether or not the tribunal found anything against the respondent for collaborating with the EFCC in the course of its investigation to ascertain the appellant’s tax assessments and whether or not the tax assessments on the appellant had become final.

In the ruling, the tribunal ruled that the appellant in line with section 40 of the FIRS Act, 2019 which stipulated that the appellant as a person and legal practitioner was deemed a legal entity liable to pay WHT as he rendered, received services and paid remuneration to legal practitioners under him accordingly.

The panel said it found nothing wrong with FIRS collaborating with the EFCC and equally found nothing wrong in the invitation of the appellant to a tax audit.

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