Tax Tribunal orders firm to pay Plateau Revenue Service N14m tax assessment within 30 days

The North Central Zone of the Tax Appeal Tribunal holden in Jos has ordered Vidan Pharmacy Limited to pay Plateau State Internal Revenue Service the judgment sum of N14, 482,050.00 (Fourteen Million, Four Hundred and Eighty-Two Thousand, Fifty Naira) being the Pay As You Earn, Development Levy, Withholding Taxes, Levies, Commissions and Penalties for the 2009 -2014 tax years within 30 days.

 

The Panel led by Hon. Richard Bala held that Plateau State Internal Revenue Service has established the failure of Vidan Pharmacy to object to the tax assessment within the time required by law and a tax assessment becomes final and conclusive when the taxpayer loses the right to question or challenge the amount of tax imposed due to his failure to carry out some steps within specified period set out under the applicable laws.

However, the tribunal declined the Plateau State Internal Revenue Service claim for 10% post–judgment interest for lacking merit.

From facts, the Appellant- Plateau State Internal Revenue Service had an Appeal dated the 3rd day of April 2023 under the Summary Appeal Procedure, sought from Vidan Pharmacy Limited an established tax debt in the total sum of N14, 482,050.00 (Fourteen Million, Four Hundred and Eighty-Two Thousand, Fifty Naira) only, comprising of PAYE, Development Levy, Withholding Taxes, Levies, Commissions and Penalties for the 2009 -2014 tax years.

Despite service of processes and hearing notice, the Vidan Pharmacy failed to enter defence against the Appeal as required by the Rules of the Tribunal.

Counsel to the Plateau State Internal Revenue Service,   argued that Vidan Pharmacy had prior to the institution of this appeal failed to raise any objection to Exhibit SA4   within the period stipulated under the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA).

Counsel finally submitted that the Tribunal is empowered by law to enter judgment in favour of the Appellant where there is no defence by the respondent, and urged the Tribunal to grant the summary reliefs sought.

In its well-considered judgment after careful evaluation of the evidence and submissions of both parties, the tribunal led by Hon. Richard Bala as Chairman, Hon.  Zaidu Abdullahi, Hon. Ukera Emmanuel, Hon. Ogbaenyi Chikwendu and Hon. Saidu Ahmed as members held that the first key requirement for dispensing with appeals under the Summary Appeal Procedure is that the appeal must involve a claim for the recovery of a tax debt that is certain, unarguable and undisputed in law and fact or tax debt that is final and conclusive.

The Tribunal affirmed that Vidan Pharmacy failed to object to the Tax Assessment done by the Plateau Internal Revenue Service within the time required by law and a tax assessment becomes final and conclusive when the taxpayer loses the right to question or challenge the amount of tax imposed due to his failure to carry out some steps within specified period set out under the applicable laws.

The tribunal reiterated that once the Vidan Pharmacy fails to file a counter affidavit disclosing its intention to defend the Appeal under the Summary Appeal Procedure, the Tribunal is under a mandatory obligation to hear the appellant and deliver a decision in respect of the appeal provided that proof of service is established by the Tribunal to its satisfaction.


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