On Monday, 9 August 2021, the Federal High Court (FHC), Port Harcourt Division, declared that the Rivers State Government (and not the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS)) is empowered to collect Valued Added Tax (VAT) and Personal Income Tax (PIT) in the State (the “Rivers State VAT Decision”).
Background of the Case
The Attorney-General of Rivers State (the “Plaintiff”) commenced this suit by an originating summons filed in September 2020, against the FIRS (the “1st Defendant”) and the Attorney-General of the Federation (the “2nd Defendant”). The Plaintiff, in the suit, requested the FHC to answer certain questions including:
Whether upon a correct interpretation of the relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended”) (the “1999 Constitution”), the Federal Government of Nigeria was empowered to make tax laws outside the scope of stamp duties, taxation of incomes, profits and capital gains?