ICAN Members Drag FIRS To Court Over Seal

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS) has been dragged to court over planned recognition of only the seal of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria  (CITN) as a condition- precedent for filing of annual returns to FIRS by Tax Practitioners in Nigeria.

The development was confirmed through an originating summon filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos by the plaintiff’s counsel, Mr George Olaniyi, and obtained by journalists which indicated that some members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) stated that FIRS had through a publication in Nigerian Tribune of July 27, 2022, planned Oct.1 to commence the recognition of CITN’s seal as a condition- precedent for filing of annual returns to it by Tax Practitioners in Nigeria.

According to the document, the plaintiffs under the aegis of Licensed and Concerned Members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria had on Sept. 26, 2022 filed the suit before a Federal High Court in Lagos challenging the decision.

The plaintiffs in the matter are Chief Afolabi Igbaroola, Alhaji Ademola Ogunsesan, Deacon T. Ishola, Mr Gbenga Afolabi, and Mr. Biodun Adedeji while FIRS is the respondent.

The Plaintiffs are seeking the court’s interpretation on whether the above publication by FIRS under the guise of giving effect to terms of a certain Memorandum of Understanding does not amount to an attempt by FIRS to scuttle the Appeal in suit No: CA/LAG/CV/1021/19 between the Plaintiff and Respondent.

The Plaintiff wants the court to determine whether the publication by the respondent are not a backdoor way of achieving the respondent’s stance maintained in FHC/L/CS/1480/18 between the plaintiffs and FIRS which led to Appeal No.: CA/L/CV/1021/19 is still pending before the Court of Appeal.

The plaintiffs further want the court to determine whether the respondent is an interested party that actively participated in the trial of Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1480/18 between the plaintiffs VS. FIRS and four others that led to an appeal in the Appeal No: CA/L/CV/1210/19 can mediate on the subject matter of Appeal pending before an Appeal Court in Lagos without the involvement and authorisation of the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs prayed for an order of the court directing the respondent to observe its own Rule and Regulation as provided in Section 61 of FIRS (Establishment) Act 2007; Section 11 of Tax Administration (Self-Assessment) Regulations 2011 which is extant law on the subject of appointing and delisting of proper persons who can practice as a tax practitioner in Nigeria.

The plaintiffs said the respondent cannot appoint or delist the Plaintiffs as Tax Practitioners by mere Newspaper Publication without regard for the laid procedure and law which are extant and enforceable.

The plaintiffs further prayed the court for an order of injunction restraining the respondent or any other committee that may be set up under the relevant provisions of the FIRS (Establishment) Act 2007 from taking any step or carrying out any action including the ones already published in the Nigerian Tribune of July 27, 2022, pending the final determination of the Appeal in Appeal No. CA/LAG/CV/1021/19.

The case, as gathered by Daily INDEPENDENT is yet to be assigned to any judge as at the time of filling this report.

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