Tax Tribunal Resolves 42 Cases Worth N288bn
A total of 42 tax-related disputes worth N288bn have been resolved by the Tax Appeal Tribunal within a period of eight months.
The Coordinating Secretary of TAT, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, gave the figure in Abuja at the opening session of a two-day retreat on effective and efficient tax dispute resolution in Nigeria.
Apart from the N288.1bn, he said disputes worth $5.41bn had also been resolved by the Tribunal.
The Tribunal is one of the windows provided in Nigeria’s tax administration system, which offers an aggrieved party the opportunity to explore other dispute resolution mechanisms before gaining access to the law courts.
Among other things, it helps to reduce the caseload of the over-laden regular courts by providing less formal fora for quicker, cheaper and expert resolution of tax disputes in the public interest.
The Tax Appeal Tribunal was established pursuant to Section 59 (I) and the Fifth Schedule of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, 2007.
Giving a summary of its activities from inauguration in November last year till date, Abubakar said the tribunal inherited 215 pending appeals with a disputed tax value of N607.53bn, $13.52bn and €1.48m.
He said new appeals filed between November 2018 and June this year stood at 62 with disputed tax value of N71.7bn and $19.5m
He said, “Appeals resolved mutually or through judgement are 42 with a disputed tax value of N288.1bn, $5.41bn. However, it is pertinent to note that some of the resolved cases are at various stages of settlement or recovery while some might probably go on appeal at the Federal High Court.
“Appeals struck out for other reasons such as lack of diligent prosecution or discontinuance by parties are 66 with disputed tax value of N22.03bn and $1.06bn.
“Total number of appeals pending at the various zones and at various stages of hearing and determination are 165 with disputed tax value of N309.8bn, $10.21bn, €1.407m.”
Out of the pending cases, he said 31 were either reserved for judgement or awaiting the filing of terms of the settlement.
“We are hopeful that the 31 appeals would be concluded this month,” the TAT coordinating secretary explained.
With regards to its key achievements, Abubakar said the TAT had engendered smooth commencement and sustained sittings across the zones.
He added that there had been improved public enlightenment and stakeholder engagement, which had resulted in the gradual acceptance of the Tribunal by taxpayers.
“We will keep working on improving the infrastructure to support speedy resolution of disputes brought before the Tribunal” he added.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, said the Federal Government, through the Tribunal, had been able to restore taxpayers’ confidence in the nation’s tax system.
He called on the tax commissioners to put in more efforts in the area of speedy resolution of tax-related disputes in order to ensure that tax revenue due to the government were paid on time.
Represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties in the ministry, Mohammed Dikwa, he urged participants to use the workshop to identify the enablers that would assist in reforming the TAT for effective and efficient tax dispute resolution in Nigeria.