Court Suspends Kano State Government’s Tax Law

A Federal High Court in Abuja has nullified a Kano State law that empowered it to collect consumption tax .
Justice John Tsoho delivered the judgment in a suit filed by the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association ( NECA ) and Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited , operators of Shoprite.

The judge set aside the provisions of Sections 96 and 97 of the Kano State Revenue Administration ( Amendment ) Law, No . 3 of 2017 , which justified the collection .

The suit was filed against the Attorney -General of the Federation, Kano State Attorney -General and Kano State Inland Revenue Service .
The trial judge also set aside Section 7 ( b ) Item 13 of the Schedule to the Taxes and Levies ( Approved List for Collection ) Act ( Amendment ) Order No . 77 , 2015 .
He declared that the imposition of consumption tax in Sections 96 and 97 of the state law over the same goods and services, which were already subject to Value Added Tax ( VAT ) amounted to double taxation .

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Former Finance Minister , Dr . Ngozi Okonjo -Iweala , had by Order No . 77 , 2015 , added item 13 to the Schedule of the Taxes and Levies , Approved List for Collection Act ( Amendment ) .

Consequent upon this , the Kano government had enacted the Revenue Administration ( Amendment ) Law, No . 3 of 2017 .

In approaching the court , the plaintiffs said the law was unfair , unjust and prejudicial to their businesses , and the fortunes of NECA and Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited .

Joseph Nwobike & Co , who asked the court for interpretation of the laws, represented the plaintiffs.
They sought to know whether it did not amount to multiple taxation , having regard to the provisions of VAT Act , Cap VI , Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 , which the Federal Government was already implementing .

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They added that the consumption tax laws were already being implemented for the benefit of both the federal and states governments , including Kano .

The plaintiffs asked whether it was not unconstitutional , in view of the provisions of items 7 , 8 and 9 of Part II of the Second Schedule to the 1999 Constitution.
They also cited the provisions of Section 7 ( b ) Item 13 of Schedule to the Taxes and Levies, Approval List for Collection Act ( Amendment ) Order No . 77 , 2015 .

In their preliminary objection , the defendants argued that the court did not have jurisdiction to hear the suit , and urged the court to dismiss the matter.
But Justice Tsoho in his judgment dismissed the preliminary objection .

Source:: BreakingTimes

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