Tax tribunal dismisses Stanbic IBTC bank’s suit against Niger State Internal Revenue Service

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The North Central Zone Tax Appeal Tribunal headed by Hon. Richard Bala has dismissed a suit filed by Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc against the Niger State Internal Revenue Service for lack of merit.

In the ruling delivered in Jos, the tribunal held that the bank did not present any evidence to be granted the reliefs sought.

The tribunal ruled that the State Internal Revenue Service has the constitutional and statutory right to distrain any tax defaulter in the state.

Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc had been in a legal tussle with the Niger State Internal Revenue 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 Service for non-filling and late filling of monthly returns on new customer accounts for the period of 2011 and 2021.

The bank had rejected the demands, hence the State Internal Revenue Service issued the Notice of Refusal to Amend (NORA) with a further threat to execute distrain against the bank.

Against this backdrop, the tribunal clarified that Niger State Revenue Service has a right to distrain any tax defaulter the moment the tax assessment becomes final and conclusive.

Noting that Stanbic IBTC failed to provide any evidence before it to be entitled to the reliefs sought, the tribunal dismissed the case for lacking merit.

The Revenue Service had in its submission argued that Stanbic IBTC failed to challenge the said assessment within the time allowed by law and by implication, it has failed to activate the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

It urged the court to dismiss the appeal with cost.

It will be recalled that as part of Muhammad Etsu Madami’s efforts to reform and reposition the Niger State Internal Revenue Service since assumption of duty in 2021, the Service had moved to pursue and bring to conclusion all outstanding issues particularly those related to third parties in the revenue collection process.

The judgement is coming on the heels of an improved and sustained growth in revenue collection by the Service from barely N10 billion in a whole year, to N16 billion in December 2021.

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