As part of efforts to improve and sustain the growth in Revenue collection, the Niger State Internal Revenue Service (NSIRS) has secured a court judgement in its case against Stanbic IBTC Bank.
It could be noted that as part of his effort to reform and reposition the Service since assumption of duty in 2021, the Service under the leadership of Muhammad Etsu Madami sought to pursue and bring to conclusion all outstanding issues especially those related to third parties in the Revenue collection process.
The Tribunal further disclosed that the Niger State Internal Revenue Service has the constitutional and statutory right to distrain any tax defaulter in the state.
The Richard Bala-led Panel of the North Central Zone Tax Appeal Tribunal while dismissing the appeal of the Bank held in Jos, ruled that the case lacked merit, adding that the appellant did not present any evidence to be granted the relief sought.
The Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc has been in a legal dispute with the Service as to the status and payment of the sum of (N54,245,812) as unremitted Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) for the 2018 and 2020 tax years, and a further revised assessment payment of the sum of (N6.395,447,40k) demanded by the Revenue Service for non-filing and late filing of monthly returns on new customer accounts for the period of 2011 and 2021.
Upon the rejection of these demands by Stanbic IBTC, the Niger State Internal Revenue Service finally issued the Notice of Refusal to Amend (NORA) with a further threat to execute distrain against the bank.
On the alleged distrain, the tribunal clarified that Niger State Internal Revenue Service has a right to distrain any tax defaulter the moment the tax assessment becomes final and conclusive.
The tribunal held that Stanbic IBTC did not place any evidence before the Tribunal to be entitled to the Reliefs sought, and dismissed the case for lacking merit.
In its submission to the Tribunal, the Revenue Service further argued that Stanbic IBTC failed to challenge the said assessment within the time allowed by law and by implication, failed to activate the jurisdiction of the Tribunal and therefore urged the court to dismiss the appeal with cost.
The Tribunal in its ruling maintained that Stanbic IBTC failed to attack the legal validity or otherwise of the bank’s NORA of 24th December, 2021 neither was there a specific prayer made by the bank requesting the Tribunal to quash the NORA in question, that Stanbic IBTC dissipated so much man hours and industry on an alleged threat by the Respondent to shut down and seal the business premises.
The ruling is coming on the heels of an improved and sustained growth in Revenue collection since assumption of office from barely N10billion naira in a whole year, to N16billion naira in December, 2021 alone of the current Chairman of the service.
The implementation of an Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) has further strengthened Niger State’s tax base and helped in plugging leakages within the system, thereby boosting the state IGR.
Etsu championed the Niger State Internal Revenue Service to secure the ruling against the Bank at the Tax Appeal Tribunal, for it is evident of a meticulous and efficient Service an astute management of human and material resources.