By Oluchi Chibuzor
Some tax payers within the North-west Zone, comprising the states of Kaduna, Kebbi, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Sokoto and Kano have availed themselves of the service of the Tax Appeal Tribunal (TAT) North-west Zone, sitting in Kaduna to successfully challenge arbitrary tax assessments imposed on them by the various revenue services and boards within the zone.
Organisations which have recently taken their cases to the tribunal included Unity Bank, Silver Plastics, Leadway Pensure Limited, Bank of Industry, Access Bank and Kano State University of Science and Technology, Wudil.
Ibrahim Boyi of Ibrahim Boyi and Company, a law firm resident in Kano, on November 11, 2020, filed before the tribunal, an appeal challenging an assessment of the sum of N118,865,475.42 imposed on Silver Plastics by the Kano State Internal Revenue Service.
The said demand notice was with respect to an outstanding tax liability, assessed by the revenue body to have been due within the 2015/2016 years of operation.
The same law firm had successfully challenged the tax assessment imposed on Unity Bank Plc by the Kano State Internal Revenue Service.
With respect to the said Unity Bank matter, a tax assessment imposed on the bank by the Kano State Internal Revenue Service was successfully challenged by the taxpayer.
The demand by the Revenue Service in the sum of N431,924,976.25, was successfully challenged before the tribunal and the said assessment was reduced, to the sum of N27,459,236.53 all of which was achieved within a sitting period of less than six months.
The North-west Zone of the Tax Appeal Tribunal is led by Umar M. Adamu, with Sameerah Abubakar Gwandu, Prof. Kabiru Isa Dandago, Prof. A.S Bayero and Prof. Ahmed Kumshe as members.
The Chairman, Umar M Adamu, has variously stated that tax is the very life source of the country and matters pertaining to resolving disputes between tax payers and revenue bodies must be done with dispatch to ensure that taxpayers do not unnecessarily labour under arbitrary demands.
He also canvassed for a symbiotic relationship between the tax payer and revenue bodies to continue to subsist for the good of the society and the demands of government.
He further revealed that no matter has remained on the cause list for more than one year, with matters being speedily conducted and brought to conclusion, most times within six months of filing.
Also, Bank of Industry challenged an assessment in the sum of N178,255,615.36 brought against it by the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service and had same reduced to the sum of N15,000,000.
Leadway Pensure Limited also efficaciously challenged their tax assessment, in the sum of N462,467,562.18 which was reduced to N5,500,000.
Investigations revealed that pending cases before the tribunal include appeals filed by Access Bank against an assessment issued by the Kano State Internal Revenue Service in the sum of N336,957,001.01 and Kano State Internal Revenue Service and Kano State University of Science and Technology Wudil, which is in the sum of N190,274,789.89 both of which are at various levels of litigation.
It would be recalled that the North-west Zone of the tribunal has since the inception of the present panel resolved tax disputes in excess of N12billion, with pending appeals in excess of N3billion.
In his final words, the Chairman of the tribunal urged taxpayers and the various revenue services/boards within the North-west Zone to continue to avail themselves of the services of the tribunal for quick dispensation of their various tax disputes.