The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Wednesday said it has appealed the judgement of the Federal High Court in Rivers which held that the agency does not have the right to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) in the state.
In a news conference in Abuja, FIRS Group Lead, Special Tax Operations, Matthew Gbonjugbola, said it is the exclusive right of the agency to collect VAT in the country. Gbonjugbola explained that the law mandating the FIRS to collect VAT seeks to protect businesses from multiple VAT. “I can confirm to you that FIRS indeed approached an appellate court to review the judgement of the lower court at the Federal Court of Appeal in Rivers,” he said.
“Be assured that FIRS has filed an appeal and that one is in process and that is why we are not able to speak.” Speaking further, Gbonjugbola said VAT collection cannot work at the sub-national level, maintaining that the FIRS is empowered by law to do so.
The FIRS official also dismissed purported plans by the agency to tax social media in Nigeria. This is coming days after a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt delivered a judgment restraining the FIRS from collecting VAT and personal income tax in Rivers State.