Monday, December 6, 2021

Tribunal reverses FIRS’s N29.2 VAT imposed on mortgage bank

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Tax Appeal Tribunal, sitting in Abuja on Wednesday, reversed N29.2 million Federal Inland Revenue Service’s, FIRS, imposed as value added tax on Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank.

The bank had challenged FIRS’s imposition of the amount.

The tribunal chairman, Alice Iriogbe, delivering judgment, held that FIRS failed to prove that those services carried out by the bank were VATable.

He held further that the banks were not liable to be taxed on those services according to the VAT Act and Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Act, 2011 as amended.

Mrs Iriogbe further held that the FIRS Service Information Status number 9 also supports the fact that such services by Mortgage Institutions were not VATable.

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” In this circumstance, the tribunal holds that the VAT assessment dated May 17, 2018, in the sum of N29.2 million and the Respondent’s Demand Notice dated July 5, 2018 are hereby discharged,” The tribunal held.

The appellant (the bank) had sought the order of the tribunal for the annulment of the FIRS’s assessment or demand notice dated May 17 and July 6, served on it with penalty at 10 per cent and interest at 15 per cent.

In its defence, FIRS argued that the letter of review and audited accounts were valid and issued in accordance with the relevant provisions of the law.

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It therefore asked the tribunal to declare that the VAT demand served on the Bank was valid and made in accordance with the law.

The respondent further sought for a declaration that the VAT transaction by the appellant outside the main objectives of its business, was liable to VAT.

FIRS further sought for an order compelling the appellant to pay to the respondent the sum of N29. 2 million, being its VAT liability for the period of 2015 to 2016 as contained in the demand letter.


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