Tribunal settles bank’s N1.528bn dispute with Abia govt

Posted by FN Editor | 5 years ago | 1,375 times

Tax assessment disagreement of N1, 528, 205,878.88 between Polaris Bank Plc and the Abia State Board of Internal Revenue has been settled by the Tax Appeal Tribunal for South East zone.

The bank had approached the appeal tribunal sitting in Enugu, to determine if the state board of internal revenue followed due process provided in tax laws and regulations in dealing with it.

In addition, it asked the tribunal to determine if the government was entitled to collect development levy and business premises levy without enabling laws of the State, and whether the respondent was entitled to collect penalty and interest based on any of the notices it served.

In his ruling, Chairman of the appeal tribunal, Chukwuemeka Eze, resolved all the prayers in the appellant’s favour, but not without advising both parties. “From the foregoing, the tribunal resolves all the issues in favour of appellant and consequently granted reliefs 1 to 6 of the appellant,” Eze ruled.

On issue six, the appeal tribunal said from its decision of June 20, 2019 in Nigeria Breweries PLC V.

Abia State Board of Internal Revenue, the notice and grounds of appeal by the respondent were competent. He noted that one of the takeaways from that decision is that the respondent is a juristic person.

He, however, advised tax payers not to wait for a tax audit before discovering and paying monies under remitted.

Eze also said that a tax authority does not impose tax, but tax legislations; while a tax authority collects as stipulated in section 1 of PITA.

Delivering the judgment, Eze said “You should be mindful of how your approach to tax issues will impact on investment in your State. Giving a taxpayer 48 hours or 7 days or any other period less than what the statute provides and changing assessment figures like the colour of a chameleon reduces the confidence of the taxpayer in the tax system.

There is need to adhere to the provisions of PITA and relevant regulations in your dealing with taxpayers.”

Four commissioners on the appeal tribunal included Prof J. O. Anyaduba, John Udeagbala, Nnamdi Okwuadigbo and Francis Obri. Representations for the parties were Emeka Ihebie for the appellant and Obike Onyemere for the respondent, who respectively accepted the judgment.


Source: The Sun

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