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FIRS appeals Rivers high court ruling on VAT collection


The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has announced that it has appealed a recent judgment of the federal high court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State which stopped it from collecting Value Added Tax (VAT) in the South-South state.

  Justice Stephen Pam who issued a restraining order against the federal agency, had said that there is no constitutional basis for FIRS to demand and collect VAT, withholding tax, education tax and technology levy in Rivers state or any other state of the federation.

The court further declared that the defendants are not constitutionally entitled to charge or impose levies, charges or rates (under any guise or by whatever name called) on the residents of Rivers state and any state of the federation.

 The judgement implied that FIRS is also barred from collecting VATs in other states in the country.

However in a statement released on Sunday August 15, the agency announced that it has filed a stay of execution and advised the public to maintain a status-quo on the payment of the taxes.

  It read;

  “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.

 “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.”

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