VAT Collection by States: FIRS Seeks Stay of Execution

Wike signs VAT law, rakes in N3bn VAT in one month

The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, has applied to the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt for an order of stay of execution of the judgment given by the court on August 9th that declared as unconstitutional the collection of Value Added Tax, VAT, by the Federal Government.

The FIRS also sought an order of the court to restrain Rivers State Government from enforcing the judgment, which also empowered state governments to collect VAT.

On Friday at the court in Port Harcourt, the FIRS lead counsel, Reuben Wanogho, in a motion on notice told the court that his client had filed an appeal against the judgment of the court delivered on 9th August, 2021.

After listening to arguments by the lead lawyer of the Rivers State government, Emmanuel Ukala (SAN) and Wanogho, the presiding judge, Dalyop Pam ruled that the date for ruling on the matter will be communicated to the parties.

A member of the Rivers State legal team, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), Adedipe said the law does not allow a vacuum. Rivers State House of Assembly, he said, had already passed the Value Added Tax Bill of Rivers State into law and the same had been duly assented to by the Governor of the State.

“You cannot have a situation where the court having declared that the FIRS cannot collect VAT in Rivers State, the State itself cannot collect same thing. That would be anarchy,” Adedipe said.

FIRS’s counsel, Wanogho said, “We brought a motion now for an injunction pending appeal to restrain the Rivers State Government from proceeding to enforce the judgment pending when we are able to finish the appeal.”

Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS,
Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS,

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