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KPMG, PwC Disagree with Finance Minister on Tax Tribunal Rules

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Leading financial services consultancies, PricewaterCoopers and KPMG, have expressed reservations about a provision in the new Tax Appeal Tribunal (TAT) Procedure Rules issued by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed. The reservations revolve around Order 3 Rule 6 of the TAT (Procedure) Rules 2021, which makes it mandatory for a taxpayer disputing a tax bill to make pay, as statutory deposit, 50 per cent of the disputed tax assessment.

Writing in the Tax Alert it publishes on its website, PwC opined that Order 3 Rule 6 amounts to abuse of an appellant’s right to fair hearing and justice, as it imposes the payment of a statutory deposit as a condition precedent to filing an appeal.

The firm also stated that the provision is contentious as it conflicts with the provisions of the Federal Inland Revenue Service Act, which gives conditions on which the tribunal may make an order of statutory deposit. It equally warned that the provision may be abused by tax authorities, which may issue unrealistic assessment notices.

“One area of contention is the requirement for the payment of 50% of the disputed tax as a condition precedent to filing an appeal. This provision may be challenged on grounds of inconsistency with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act 2007 since it is established that rules cannot override the provisions of an Act,” wrote PwC.

The firm also stated that the provision may be challenged in court, as it represents a hindrance to the appellant’s right to fair hearing if the appellant does not have the wherewithal to make a deposit.
In addition, PwC observed that the provision may be abused by tax authorities, as it has a possibility of bringing about assessments not arrived at through forensic processes, with tax bodies hoping that the appellant will the pay 50% deposit.

On its part, KMPG also stated that the requirement for 50 per cent deposit is antagonistic to the provisions of Section 15(7) of Federal Inland Revenue (Establishment) Act, noting that the FIRS Act allows such only in specific situations.
On these grounds, added KPMG, the tax dispute resolution process may be dogged by more litigation.

“There is a risk that the blanket requirement may make the TAT more litigious in its outlook and takes it away from the less formal dispute resolution framework it was designed to be.

“It may also increase the risk of tax disputes being resolved based on rules of court or technicality, rather than substantive justice, a weakness of the formal court system which the TAT is set up to provide,” KPMG noted.

It also stated that appellants may consider heading to court to challenge status of the tribunal which, it reasoned, seem to want to usurp the role of the Federal High Court on taxation matters.

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AbdulRazaq Greets First Class Monarch, Olofa Of Offa At 59

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The Kwara State Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has congratulated the Olofa of Offa Oba Mufutau Muhammed Gbadamosi Esuwoye II on his 59th birthday anniversary, describing his reign as hugely impactful and fruitful for the Offa community and beyond.

“I send our felicitations to His Royal Majesty the Olofa of Offa on his 59th birthday anniversary today.

May Almighty Allah grant His Royal Majesty good health and long life on the stool of his forbears.

I join sons and daughters of Offa, and the entire state, to commend his resourcefulness, statesmanship, his personal investments in ensuring that his community continues to stand out for good things, his commitment to socio-cultural and economic growth of the ancient town, as well as his support for the government’s peace and developmental efforts in the state,” the Governor said in a statement.

The Governor urges the first class monarch to continue to lead the initiatives for development and peace in Offa, saying posterity

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AbdulRazaq Mourns Late Alhaji Kawu, FIRS Director

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The Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has once more urged security forces to use all available means to eradicate the terrorists and robbers terrorizing the nation’s citizens.

In a message of condolence sent to the Emir of Lafiagi, Alhaji Mohammed Kawu, the governor made the appeal in response to the murder of Alhaji Mohammed Kudu, a senior official of the Federal Internal Revenue Service, who was killed by bandits on Sunday during an attack between Lapai and Lambata on the Ilorin/Mokwa/Minna Road.

Kudu, until his death, was the Saduki Lafiagi in Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State.

The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, described the killing as unfortunate.

“With total submission to the will of God, I send my heartfelt condolences to the people of Lafiagi Emirate, the Emir of Lafiagi, Alhaji Mohammed Kawu, and the immediate family of Saduki Lafiagi on this sad development.

“It is one tragedy too many. We are again renewing our calls on the security agencies not to spare any efforts to take out the daredevils who continue to terrorise and waste innocent lives under whatever guise,” the governor said in a statement on Monday.

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AbdulRazaq Commiserates Chief Imam Of Ajase-Ipo

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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has commiserated with the people of Ajase-Ipo in Irepodun Local Government Area over the death of Chief Imam Sheikh Muhammad Mustapha Suleiman, calling it the end of another great era of impressive scholarship.

The FidelinfoNews gathered that the Governor said the death of the Chief Imam, the spiritual leader of the Muslim community in Ajase-Ipo, was a depletion in the rank of community leaders whose leadership roles are key to societal cohesion, stability, peace and security.

“On behalf of the government and the people of Kwara State, I send our heartfelt condolences to the Muslim community, the Olupo of Ajase-Ipo Oba Ismail Yahya Alebiosu, and the immediate family of the Chief Imam. He left a legacy of being a great leader who played his role in the development of his community,” according to a statement by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Rafiu Ajakaye.

“We beseech Allah to forgive his shortcomings, grant him al-jannah Firdaus, and keep the ummah and his family on the path of righteousness.”

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