By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU- The Tax Appeal tribunal for South East zone, sitting in Enugu, has reconciled the N1,528,205,878.88 tax assessment disagreement between Polaris Bank Plc and the Abia state Board of Internal Revenue.
The bank had approached the tax tribunal for among other things, to determine if the state board of internal revenue followed the procedure provided in tax laws and regulations in dealing with it.
It also asked the tribunal to determine if the government was entitled to collect Development Levy and Business Premises Levy without enabling Laws of the State, and whether the Respondent was entitled to collect penalty and interest based on any of the notices it served.
Chairman of the Appeal tribunal Chukwuemeka Eze in his ruling resolved all the prayers in the appellant’s favour, but not without advising both parties.
“From the foregoing, the Tribunal resolves all the issues in favour of Appellant and consequently grants reliefs 1 to 6 of the Appellant,” Eze ruled.
He however advised that tax payers should not wait for a tax audit before discovering and paying monies under-remitted.
Eze also said that a tax authority does not impose tax, but tax legislations; while a tax authority collects as stipulated in section 1 PITA.
In parts of the judgment, Eze said “You should be mindful of how your approach to tax issues will impact on investment in your State. Giving a taxpayer 48 hours or 7 days or any other period less than what the statute provides and changing assessment figures like the colour of a chameleon reduces the confidence of the taxpayer in the tax system.
“There is need to adhere to the provisions of PITA and relevant regulations in your dealing with taxpayers.”
Four commissioners on the appeal panel included Prof J. O. Anyaduba, John Udeagbala, Nnamdi Okwuadigbo and Francis Obri
Representations were Emeka Ihebie for the appellant and Obike Onyemere for the respondent. Both parties accepted the judgment.