By Innocent Anaba
SOME Accountants, yesterday, dragged the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos over its plan to compel tax practitioners to use a seal of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN, for filing annual returns to the Service from October 1, 2022.
The five plaintiffs in the suit are Afolabi Igbaroola, Ademola Ogunsesan, Deacon T. Ishola, Mr Gbenga Afolabi and Mr Abiodun Adedeji, all members of ICAN, while FIRS is the defendant.
The plaintiffs through their counsel, Mr Olaniyi George on behalf of themselves and members of Licensed and Concerned Members of ICAN are challenging FIRS over May 31, 2021, Memorandum of Understanding published in newspapers, announcing the implementation of the CITN seal as a condition precedent for filing of annual returns to the FIRS by Tax Practitioners from October 1, 2022.
They averred that the subject matter of the MoU was litigated by the plaintiffs and the FIRS at the Federal High Court in Lagos in suit FHC/L/CS/1480/18, which is pending before the Court of Appeal, Lagos in suit CA/L/CV/1210/19.
The plaintiffs are praying the court to determine, among others, whether the FIRS being an interested party and a party that actively participated in suit FHC/L/CS/1480/18, and suit CA/L/CV/1210/19 can amongst “syndicate, facilitate, and/or mediate” on the subject matter of the appeal without their consent.
They further asked the court for five reliefs, including an order that the FIRS “Cannot tamper, vary and dissipate the ‘res’ (subject) which is the subject matter of appeal in the Appeal Court and having had the knowledge of the appeal and injunction pending appeal and that the activities of the defendant in respect of the MoU amount to affront to the power and jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal.”