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TAXES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS EMPOWERED TO IMPOSE

Dictum

I have stated the gravamen of the issues of the Appellant. In A.-G., Rivers State v. FIRS (unreported) (supra), this Court examined the provisions of Items 58 and 59 of Part 1 of the 2nd Schedule to the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and held that law has specifically designated the taxes that the Federal Government is empowered to impose and collect to the exclusion of other taxes like Value Added Tax, Withholding Tax, Education Tax, and Technology Tax. Earlier, this Court in Emmanuel Chukwuka Ukala, SAN v. A. – G., Fed. & Anor. (Unreported) (Supra) per Oshomah, J., had given a similar decision. In my candid opinion, these decisions have knocked the bottom off the decision of the TAT. It must be noted that these decisions are by Courts of Coordinate jurisdiction. They express the jurisprudence on the subject to my satisfaction and I am thereby persuaded. I have no reason therefore to make a conflicting decision to them. The Respondent ought to have been guided by the decision in Emmanuel Chukwuka Ukala, SAN v. A. G., Fed. & Anor. (Unreported) (Supra) being that it was decided on 12th December, 2020 long before the TAT gave its decision on 23rd June, 2021 per page 1038 of the Record.

— I.E. Ekwo, J. Daudu v FIRS (2023) – FHC/ABJ/TA/1/2021

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REVENUE PROVISIONS WILL BE CONSTRUED IN FAVOUR OF PUBLIC INTEREST

Let us not forget that the tax being scuffled over is the tax of the appellant’s employees from 2005-2010 which would have long time been deducted from the employees’ salaries but which the appellant failed to remit to the appropriate authority. The tax of 2011 to date has not yet become an issue. I must...

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TAX LAWS ARE STRICTLY OR NARROWLY INTERPRETED

Tax laws are strictly or narrowly interpreted from the bare words used in the enactment. There is no presumption or equity about a tax – See Ahmadu and Anor. v. The Governor of Kogi State and Ors. (2002) 3 NWLR (Pt. 755) 502 at 522 thus – “In a taxing legislation, one has to look...

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SERVING NOTICE OF TAX ASSESSMENT ON THE TAX PAYER MUST BE DONE

In this regard, the case of Fasogbon v. Layande (1999) 11 NWLR (Pt. 6280) 543 becomes very apt, wherein it was held at pages 556 557 that: “From the steps that must be taken before the tax payable is evolved, to argue that serving notice of assessment on the tax payer is not part of the procedure under the decree is unthinkable. It is like a Romeo without a Juliet. In the realm of the law, to say that the tax payer who by operation of personal income tax is legally indebted to the tax authority for the assessed income tax is not informed of the assessment of the income tax payable would be an imposition, an arbitrary act that affects his civil rights and therefore infringes upon his civil rights and of fair hearing under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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TRANSACTION LOCATION, AND NOT RESIDENCE, DETERMINE WITHHOLDOING TAX

It is clear to me that the residence of third parties engaged in transactions attracting WHT with a payee is not material. The significant factor is the venue or place the transactions were effected. Once it is shown the transactions with third parties were implemented in Oyo State by way of supplying the transacted items...

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PROCEDURE BY TAX AUTHORITY WHERE FAILURE TO MAKE NECESSARY TAX RETURNS

My understanding of the aforestated, is that where a taxable person fails to make the necessary tax returns in a year as prescribed by the relevant tax authority, the latter shall after the expiration of the period allowed proceed to make necessary assessment of the amount of tax due based on its best of judgment...

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RESPONDENT FAILED TO ESTABLISHED EARNED TAXABLE INCOME

The power of the Board is not to be exercised by determining a company’s assessable profits according to its BOJ but rather to determine total profit to which the applicable tax rate is applied. The Respondent failed to establish that the Appellant indeed earned taxable income or turnover for the relevant periods or establish the nature and value of the taxable services rendered by the Appellant during the period in question i.e., 2010 to 2017.

— I.E. Ekwo, J. Daudu v FIRS (2023) – FHC/ABJ/TA/1/2021

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