AN EVALUATION OF THE RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE OF TAX APPEALTRIBUNAL IN NIGERIA

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title
Table of Statutes
Table of Cases
List of Abbreviations
Table of Contents
Abstract

CHAPTER ONE
1.0       General Introduction
1.1 Introduction
1.2       Background of the Study
1.3       Statement of Problems
1.4       Objectives of the Study
1.5       Significance of the Study
1.6       Scope of the Research
1.7       Research Methodology
1.8       Literature Review
1.9       Organizational Layout

CHAPTER TWO
2.0       The Establishment and Composition of the Tax Appeal Tribunal
2.1       Introduction
2.2       The Establishment of the Tax Appeal Tribunal
2.3       The Composition of the Tax Appeal Tribunal
2.4       The Qualification for Appointment As A Tax Appeal Commissioner
2.4.1    Term of Office
2.4.2   Resignation and Removal of a Tax Appeal Commissioner
2.4.3   Salary, Allowances and Conditions of Service of Tax Appeal Commissioners
2.4.4   Filling up of Vacancies
2.5       Jurisdiction of the Tax Appeal Tribunal
2.5.1    Criminal Prosecution
2.5.2    Civil Jurisdiction
2.5.3   Appeals Against the Decisions of the Federal Inland Revenue Service
2.5.4   Appeals by the Federal Inland Revenue Service for Non-Compliance

CHAPTER THREE
3.0       Parties Before the Tax Appeal Tribunal
3.1       Introduction
3.2       Types of Parties
3.2.1    Proper parties
3.2.2    Desirable Parties
3.2.3    Nominal Parties
3.2.4    Necessary Parties
3.3       Legal Capacity to Sue and be Sued
3.3.1    Individuals
3.3.2    Corporate Bodies
3.3.3    Firms of Partnership
3.3.4   Estate of a Deceased
3.3.5   Infant/Persons of Unsound Mind
3.3.6    Representative Action
3.4       Parties and Representations at the Tax Appeal Tribunal
3.5       Joinder of Parties
3.5.1    Non-Joinder of Parties
3.5.2    Misjoinder of Parties
3.5.3   Joinder of Persons Severally or Jointly and Severally Liable
3.5.4   Who should apply for Joinder of a Party
3.5.5   Stage of the Proceedings at which Joinder may be Ordered
3.5.6   Effect of Non-Joinder or Misjoinder
3.6       Change of Parties
3.6.1    Death of a Party to an Appeal before the Tax Appeal Tribunal
3.6.2    Procedure for Application to Substitute Another Person for a Deceased Party to an Appeal

CHAPTER FOUR
4.0       Practice and Procedure in the Tax Appeal Tribunal
4.1       Introduction
4.2       Preliminary Issues before Commencement of Appeal
4.2.1    Cause of Action
4.2.2    Jurisdiction
4.2.3    Locus Standi
4.2.4    Condition Precedent
4.2.5    Statute Bar
4.3       Place of Instituting Appeals
4.4       Commencement of Appeals
4.4.1   Form of Commencement of Appeals
4.4.2    Service of Processes
4.4.3   Mode of Entering of Appearance
4.4.4    Default of Appearance
4.5       Effect of Non-compliance with the Rules of the Tax Appeal Tribunal

CHAPTER FIVE
5.0       Interlocutory Applications in the Tax Appeal Tribunal
5.1       Introduction
5.2       Modes of Applying to the Tax Appeal Tribunal
5.3       Types of Motions
5.3.1    Ex Parte Motion
5.3.2   Life Span of Ex-parte Orders
5.3.3    Motion on Notice
5.3.4    Contents of a Motion
5.3.5   Affidavits in Support of Motions
5.3.6   Counter Affidavits in Opposition to Motions
5.3.7   Written Address in Support of Motions
5.3.8    Hearing of Motions
5.4       Computation of Time, Dates and Adjournments
5.4.1    Computation of Time
5.4.2    Dates and Adjournments
5.5       Amendment of Processes before the Tax Appeal Tribunal
5.6       Consolidation of Appeals before the Tribunal
5.6.1   Circumstances under which Consolidation may be ordered
5.6.2   When Consolidation will not be Ordered
5.6.3   Judgment in Consolidated Appeal
5.7       Discontinuance of Appeal
5.8       Hearing of Appeals
5.8.1   Presentation of Appellant‟s Case
5.8.2   Presentation of Respondent‟s Case
5.9       Evidence before the Tax Appeal Tribunal
5.10     Witness Summons/Warrants
5.11     Written Final Addresses
5.12     Determination of Appeal
5.12.1 Characteristics of a Valid Decision
5.12.1(a)          Must be in Writing
5.12.1(b)          Must Contain the Reasons for the Decision
5.12.1(c)          Must be signed by the Chairman
5.13     Enforcement of Tax Appeal Tribunal Decisions
5.13.1 Procedure Following the Decision of the Tribunal
5.14     Fees and Miscellaneous Powers of the Tribunal
5.14.1 Fees
5.14.2 Miscellaneous Powers of the Tribunal
5.15 Appeals against the Decisions of the Tax Appeal Tribunal

CHAPTER SIX
6.0       Conclusion
6.1       Summary of findings
6.2       Suggestions and Recommendations
6.3       Concluding Remarks
Bibliography


ABSTRACT
The role of tax as a major source of income for government cannot be overemphasized. The imposition, collection and administration of tax are matters which are within the exclusive domain of positive law. Not a kobo would be levied on any citizen unless there is a clear Statute that provides for such a levy. The courts have also construed taxing statutes strictly allowing no room for any intention or assumptions. These factors have made tax disputes between the tax authorities and taxpayers a daily occurrence. The Tax Appeal Tribunal was, therefore, established under the Federal Inland Revenue (Establishment) Act, 2007 to provide a platform for a cheaper, friendly and timely resolution of the inevitable disputes that would arise from the implementation of the various tax laws. To guide the Tax Appeal Tribunal in its function, the Tax Appeal Tribunal (Procedure) Rules, 2010, the main focus of this exercise, was made. This work evaluates the Tax Appeal Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2010 and demonstrates the extent to which it can assist in the attainment of the lofty goals of quicker, cheaper and efficient resolution of tax disputes. Using the doctrinal methodology of research, a number of other Rules of Courts were compared to demonstrate that the Tribunal may not achieve the desired objective having regard to the many lacuna in the Rules as constituted. A good number of the lacuna have been identified here, chiefly amongst them is the very enormous powers of the Minister of Finance to solely appoint virtually all the Personnel of the Tribunal without any input or supervision from any other arm of government. Another major problem relates to the very scanty provision for a dissatisfied party to exercise his constitutional right of appeal to the Federal High Court. There is also the problem of apparent conflict in the exercise of the Tribunal‟s discretion to enlarge time within which to challenge an assessment and when same becomes final after service of demand notices. A great effort has been spared to review these lacuna with corresponding practicable suggestions on how best to address some of the problems so identified. In arriving at conclusions here, this work has drawn from a wide range of authorities and views expressed in both primary and secondary materials. It is hoped that the views expressed here would be found useful by all category of readers including tax administrators and practitioners and above all engender further research in this aspect of law.


CHAPTER ONE
GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.1                INTRODUCTION
The issue of taxation has often generated controversies between the tax authorities on one hand and the taxpayers on the other. These controversies or disputes generally stem from the very nature of tax itself and the peculiar way in which taxing Statutes are interpreted by the Courts.

Taxes are levies imposed under the authority of the legislature and they are levied by a public body for public purposes.1 Tax is created by law and levied on individuals, incomes, commodities and transactions to yield public revenue that affords government the opportunity to offer protection and other socio – economic amenities to the citizens.2 It is one of the sources of income for government.3 Taxes are imposed by Statutes only.4 The issue of tax is consequently outside the ambit of common law. Therefore, for any individual to be chargeable to tax there must be a clear link between the charging provisions and the intended taxpayer. The link must be direct, not inferential.5 The insistence on the direct link between the charging provisions and the intended taxpayer has been a source of sustained controversies between the taxpayers and the tax authority.....

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