Rivers ruling: preserve paying VAT to us, FIRS tells taxpayers

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has ordered the state’s taxpayers to continue paying sales tax (VAT) to the agency to avoid penalties for non-compliance.

FIRS spokesman Abdullahi Ahmad said this in a statement on Sunday.

The guideline followed a recent Rivers State judgment at the Port Harcourt Federal Supreme Court, which ruled that states and not the federal government are constitutionally empowered to levy VAT.

The FIRS said it had has appealed against the court ruling.

Despite the appointment of FIRS, Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers, signed an invoice for the collection of value added tax (VAT) into law on Thursday.

Wike claimed that the ruling by the Federal Court of Justice adequately addressed the illegality committed by the FIRS.

But FIRS said both parties are aware of the appeal and the suspension of the judgment and advised taxpayers to keep paying VAT.

“The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) was made aware of the trend report that the Rivers state government will take steps to pass a sales tax law for the Rivers state on August 19, 2021 following the judgment of the Federal High Court Port Harcourt Division on August 9, 2021 in the complaint number: CS / 149/2020 ”, the statement reads.

“The lawsuit was about who has the constitutional duty to collect sales tax and income tax in the state of Rivers.

“We would like to inform the public that FIRS appealed the above judgment in advance of the above actions by the government of the state of Rivers and also filed a motion to stay the enforcement of the judgment and the court for an injunction pending a decision on the appeal .

“All parties to the litigation are aware that both applications were heard on August 19 and 20, 2021 and are awaiting a decision by the court.

“In view of the fact that the appellate court still has to decide on the appeal against the judgment of the Federal Supreme Court and the Federal Supreme Court still decides on the applications of FIRS for suspension of enforcement and injunction, the public is advised to continue to meet their sales tax obligations until the matter is decided by the appellate courts. “

TheCable had also reported how FIRS is lobbying the National Assembly to include the collection of value added tax (TAX) in the exclusive legal list.