Federal High Court Judgment: FIRS Insists on VAT Collection


Taxpayers were on Sunday told by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to continue the payment of their Value Added Tax (VAT) to then revenue collector.

The FIRS warned that failing to do will attract penalties. In a statement issued in Abuja last night, the FIRS said: “Following numerous enquiries to the Service in view of a recent judgment obtained by the Rivers State Government at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, which ruled that states, and not the Federal Government, are constitutionally empowered to collect VAT.”

The agency’s Director of Communications and Liaison Dr. Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, said the insistence for the VAT payment into its coffer because the Rivers State government had taken steps to enact a VAT law in the state.

Dr. Ahmad noted: “Since the Service has already appealed the Rivers judgment in which appeal it is seeking a stay of execution order, the status quo ante subsists on the VAT collection authority, hence taxpayers should continue to pay their VAT to the FIRS.

“We wish to inform the general public that, before the above-mentioned steps taken by the Government of Rivers State, FIRS had lodged an appeal against the above judgment and had also filed an application for stay of execution of the Judgment as well asking the court for an injunction pending determination of the appeal.

“All parties to the suit are aware that both applications were heard on the 19th and 20th August 2021 and are awaiting the decision of the court.

“Given that the Court of Appeal is yet to rule on the appeal from the judgment of the Federal High Court and that the court is yet to deliver a ruling on FIRS’s applications for stay of execution and injunction, members of the public are advised to continue to comply with their VAT obligations until the matter is resolved by the appellate courts.”

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