The newly inaugurated Tax Appeal Tribunal yesterday commenced its sitting on tax-related cases with a warning that it would not tolerate any delay tactics during adjudication of tax disputes.
The Tax Appeal Tribunal was established pursuant to Section 59 (I) and the Fifth Schedule of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, 2007.
It was specifically set up to adjudicate on all disputes arising from operations of the Companies Income Tax Act, Petroleum Profit Tax Act, Capital Gains Tax Act, Stamp Duties Act, Value Added Tax, Taxes and Levies among others.
The tribunal, which was inaugurated by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on November 5 had about 209 cases that are pending at the various Tax Appeal Tribunals across the country.
The monetary value of 209 pending cases across the six geo-political zones of the Tax Appeal Tribunal is $18.80bn, N205.65bn and €0.821m based on figures provided by the ministry of finance.
The pending cases involved multinational companies, while the issues for determination are highly technical and painstaking.
The Tribunal is one of the windows provided in Nigeria’s tax administration system which offers an aggrieved party the opportunity to explore other dispute resolution mechanisms before gaining access to the law courts.
Among other things, it helps to reduce the caseload of the over-laden regular courts by providing less formal fora for quicker, cheaper and expert resolution of tax disputes in the public interest.
Speaking at the opening session of the sitting, the Chairman of the Abuja zone of the Tribunal, Hon. Alice Iriogbe, warned those having tax disputes against adopting unnecessary delays strategies.