VAT collection: Lagos applies to join Rivers in FIRS appeal

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The Lagos state government has applied to the court of appeal in Abuja to be joined as a co-respondent in the appeal filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) challenging the judgment of the federal high court, Port Harcourt.

The moves by the revenue agency to demand the inclusion of VAT collection in the exclusive legislative list.This development is coming amid a legal battle over VAT collection between FIRS and some state governments.Recently, a federal high court in Port Harcourt issued an order restraining the FIRS from collecting VAT and personal income tax (PIT) in Rivers state.

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Although the federal tax authority had appealed for a stay of execution, the court dismissed it on the basis that it would “negate the principle of equity”.The court of appeal had slated Friday to hear the appeal of the agency.However, at the court session, Moyosore Onigbanjo, attorney-general of Lagos state, informed the court of an application for the Lagos state government to join as a party in the appeal. The state had passed a VAT bill into law — awaiting the governor’s assent.

Onigbanjo argued that the application for joinder should be taken first before FIRS’ application for stay of execution.But, Mahmoud Magaji, counsel for the FIRS, argued that their application for stay of execution should take precedence over the application for joinder.Upon listening to submissions from all the parties, the court stood down the matter for the ruling.

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