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FIRS Files Appeal Against High Court Judgment On VAT, PIT Collections

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has filed an appeal against a recent judgment of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, which granted the state the right to collect the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Personal Income Tax (PIT).

The federal revenue agency had indicated its intention to file an appeal on the High Court’s verdict shortly after the ruling by Honourable Justice Stephen Pam on the matter

A statement issued by the FIRS Director, Communications and Liaison Department, Dr. Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, indicated that the Service had appealed the judgment.

He stated: “This is to inform the general public that the Federal Inland Revenue Service has lodged an appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court Port Harcourt Judicial Division delivered by Honourable Justice Stephen Pam, in SUIT NO. FHC/PH/CS/149/2020-ATTORNEY GENERAL OF RIVERS STATE v. FEDERAL INLAND REVENUE SERVICE & ANOTHER. We have also sought an injunction pending appeal and a Stay of Execution of the said judgment.

“As the decision is being appealed and in view of the pending applications for injunction and stay of execution which the FIRS has filed in court against the judgment, members of the public are advised to continue to comply with the Value Added Tax obligations until the matter is resolved by the appellate courts in order to avoid accruing the consequent penalties and interest for non-compliance.”

The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, presided over by Justice Stephen Dalyop Pam had banned the FIRS from collecting Value Added Tax (VAT) and Personal Income Tax (PIT) in Rivers State, saying that the Rivers State Government is the correct authority to collect VAT and PIT in the state.

The court also granted perpetual injunction, restraining the federal revenue agency and the Attorney General of the Federation, the first and second defendants in the suit, from collecting, demanding, threatening and intimidating residents of Rivers State to pay PIT and VAT to FIRS.

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