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Proposed 2022 FIRS Practice Direction Will Enhance Speedy Delivery Of Tax Related Appeals, Says A’Court President

The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, on yesterday said that the Proposed Court of Appeal (Federal Inland Revenue Service) Practice Directions 2022 will enhance speedy dispensation of justice in tax related matters at the appellate court.

Justice Dongban-mensem stated this in a remarks at a 2 day Technical Workshop for the Review of the Proposed Court of Appeal (Federal Inland Revenue Service) Practice Directions 2022.

The technical workshop which ended in Abuja on yesterday was organised in collaboration with the FIRS to embark on an in-dept review of the Practice Directions on Tax matters which will guide the conduct of appeals bordering on the operations of the FIRS under its establishment Act.

The President described the collaboration as a testament to the willingness of the appellate court under her leadership, to ensure efficient dispensation of justice.

According to her, the Practice Direction will also govern matters brought before the court based on the application of enacted tax legislations in effect in Nigeria, as well as their applications to parties in any appeals brought before the appellate court.

“Its provisions will also minimize incidences of adjournments, reduce delays in preparation and filing of processes related to interlocutory and final appeals before the Court. The Practice Directions also ensures that the parties are active participants in achieving its aims”, she said.

Dongban-mensem explained that prior to this exercise, the court had, in line with its active case management techniques, included tax matters in the list of fast – track appeals in the Court of Appeal (Fast – track) Practice Direction 2021.

“Its objective is to enable the Court abridge the time for compliance with any rule, or Practice Direction. As the government seeks to expand its tax base to generate revenue, it is expected that tax disputes may increase exponentially. It is against this backdrop that the court intends to further equip itself to effectively dispense with tax matters. Hence the need for the proposed Practice Directions.

“Given the technical nature of the subject matter of these Practice Directions, I am delighted that the FIRS, under the leadership of the Executive Chairman Mr. Muhammad M. Nami, is collaborating with the Court to ensure that the Practice Directions are comprehensive, concise and will operate contemporaneously with current and emergent issues touching on taxation.”

On his part, the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami who spoke through the Coordinating Director, Compliance Support Group, Dr. Dick Irri, said it is imperative to collaborate with the judiciary to ensure speedy justice delivery on tax matters.

“The FIRS continues to recognize that the judiciary is a crucial stakeholder in tax administration responsible for the interpretation of tax laws and resolution of tax disputes; hence, our continuous engagement and collaboration with judiciary to seek for ways to improve our tax system.

“As we all can attest, taxation is a specialized area of knowledge which has continued to evolve overtime. And more recently, following the growth of digital economy, a judicial process that is dynamic to enhance this evolution and ensure quick resolution of tax cases is desirable. It will help in the development of our fragile economy and efficient domestic revenue mobilization to finance the needs of Nigeria.”

The Rules committee of the court is expected to harmonize all suggestions proffered by stakeholders during the workshop and consequently present a clean copy for adoption to qualify as the Practice Directions of the Court of Appeal.

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