Lawyers and Law Firms are Liable to Deduct and Remit VAT to FIRS – Court of Appeal

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The Court of Appeal Jos Division has ruled that Lawyers and Law firms are liable to deduct and remit VAT to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The above was the decision of the Court of Appeal in a suit filed by the Law Firm of Al Maseer challenging the power of the FIRS to assess the firm on the ground that legal services are not liable to VAT.

The firm had by an originating Summons filed at the Federal High Court asked the court to determine whether Legal Practice is a business venture required to register with the FIRS for the purpose of deducting and remitting Tax. The Firm also asked the court to determine whether a legal practitioner called to the Nigerian Bar falls within the class of persons who are obligated by law to render  VAT return to the FIRS amongst other issues raised for the determination of the Court.

In a judgment delivered by the Federal High Court on .., the court resolved the questions raised in favour of FIRS. Dissatisfied with the Judgment, the Firm filed an appeal to the Court of Appeal Jos Division asking the Court to set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court and hold that Law firms and Lawyers are not liable by law to withhold and remit tax to the FIRS.

The Court of Appeal dismissing the appeal held that law firms and lawyers are liable to withhold and remit tax to the FIRS.

Read the full judgment below:

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