By Tobi Soniyi
The Tax Appeal Tribunal sitting in Abuja Wednesday ordered the foreign contractor that built the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas plant, TSKJ 11 Construces International Sociaade UNIPESSOAL to pay the Federal Government the sum of N49 billion as its tax liabilities for 2008 and 2009.
TSKJ 11 Construces International Sociaade UNIPESSOAL had approached the tribunal asking it to hold that the assessment of tax made by the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) was contrary to the relevant tax laws and therefore should be set aside.
The company filed three appeals which were consolidated.
In a unanimous judgment read by the acting chairman of the tribunal, Mr Nnamdi Ibegbu (SAN) it held that:
“The tribunal dismissed suit No. TAT/ABJ/APP1010/2008. The assessment of tax made by the respondent on the appellant is hereby upheld and the appellant shall pay same forthwith to the respondent as contained in the respondent’s Notices of Additional Assessment No. PRBA 09 dated 19/02/2008 the sum of $2, 770, 689, PRBA 12 dated 19/02/2008 the sum of $3, 269, 488 and another PRBA amounting to $3, 763, 313.
“The cost of the appeal is also fixed at N100,000 in favour of the respondent against the appellant.”
The tribunal also dismissed the two appeals filed by appellant in the consolidated case TAT/ABJ/APP/006/2006 and TAT//ABJ/APP/2010 and order with respect to TAT/ABJ/APP/006.
It also made the following. orders:
“An order that the respondents’ notices of refusal to amend assessment with reference numbers: 11D/CT/BA/DD/026, 11D/CT/BA/ADD/027, 11D/CT/BA/ADD/028, 11D/CT/BA/ADD/029, 11D/CT/BA/ADD/030, 11D/CT/BA/ADD/031 are hereby upheld, wholly.
“An order that the Respondent’s notices of additional assessments listed in paragraph 1 above are upheld wholly.”
The tribunal upheld FIRS’ notices of refusal to amend assessment with reference number LD/OG/2100133/CRM/0236/401-PDBA 212 and LD/0G/2100133/CRM/401-PDGA 210.
The tribunal noted that the company’s tax liabilities for 2008 and 2009 tax years as computed in the self-assessment forms submitted by it to the FIRS in respect to those years being the sums of USA 550, 556. 74 have not been fully paid.
It then ordered the company to pay the tax as assessed by the Respondent against the foregoing, Ibegbu said: “Appeal No. TAT/ABJ/APP/006 and TAT/ABJ/APP/017/2010 is hereby dismissed.
“Cost follows events with respect to TAT/ABJ/APP/006/2006 is fixed and assessed against the appellant in favour of the respondent at N100, 000.
“Cost with respect to TAT/ABJ/APP/017/2010 is fixed and assessed against the appellant in favour of the respondent at N100,000).”