FIRS will continue collecting VAT – FG

Abubakar Malami

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) will continue to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) following the ruling of the Court of Appeal on the matter, attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and minister of justice Abubakar Malami has said.

Speaking on behalf of the Federal Government, Malami told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York that the ruling of the Court of Appeal for the FIRS and Rivers State Government to maintain status quo favoured FIRS.

Rivers and FIRS have been locked in a battle on which of them is authorised to collect VAT.

Malami said that it was FIRS that had been collecting VAT before the dispute arose over which the Rivers government approached the High Court.

“The position of not only the Federal Government but indeed the judiciary is the fact that status quo associated with the collecting of VAT should be maintained,” he said.

“And as far as the judicial system is concerned, the status quo as at the time the parties approached the court, it was the Federal Inland Revenue Service that was indeed collecting the value added tax.

“So with that in mind, the Federal Government has succeeded in obtaining an order that establishes the sustenance of the status quo, which status quo is that the Federal Inland Revenue Service should continue collection.

“This is pending the determination of the cases that were instituted by states, particularly the Rivers State Government and the Lagos State government. The cases are being determined by the court.”

Malami added that the Federal Government is considering the possibility of instituting an action before the Supreme Court for the purpose of having the matter determined once and for all.