Members of ICAN sue FIRS over Tax seal

Some accountants have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in the Federal High Court of Lagos regarding the plan to require tax practitioners to use the seal of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) starting on October 1, 2022, when filing annual returns with the Service.

Chief Afolabi Igbaroola, Alhaji Ademola Ogunsesan, Deacon T.J. Ishola, Mr. Gbenga Afolabi, and Mr. Abiodun Adedeji are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. They are all members of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

Through their attorney, Mr. Olaniyi George, the applicants filed the lawsuit with the case number FHC/L/CS/1837/2022 on their own behalf and on behalf of other Licensed and Concerned Members of ICAN. The only party accused is the FIRS.

The plaintiffs are suing FIRS in relation to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) dated May 31, 2021 that announced the implementation of the CITN seal as a prerequisite for tax practitioners’ submission of annual returns to the FIRS beginning on October 1 of this year.

They claimed that the plaintiffs and the FIRS litigated the MoU’s subject matter before the Federal High Court in Lagos in a case with the case number FHC/L/CS/1480/18, which is currently proceeding before the Court of Appeal in Lagos under the case number CA/L/CV/1210/19.

They asked the court to rule, among other things, on whether the FIRS, as an interested party and a participant in the lawsuits FHC/L/CS/1480/18 and CA/L/CV/1210/19, can, without their permission, “syndicate, facilitate, and/or mediate” on the topic of the appeal.

They requested five different reliefs from the court, including an order that the FIRS “cannot tamper, vary, or dissipate the’res’, which is the subject of appeal in the Appeal and having had knowledge of the appeal and injunction pending appeal, and that the defendant’s actions with regard to the MoU amount to an affront to the power and jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal.

“A declaration that the defendant cannot contravene its own rule or regulation as provided in Section 61 of the FIRS Act 2007 and Section 11 of the Tax Administration (Self-Assessment) Regulations 2011 on the appointment and delisting of suitable individuals to be tax practitioners in Nigeria and that the advertisement/publication via the newspaper is not the contemplated by the law guiding the exercise of the appointment and delisting of a tax practitioner in Nigeria.

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