North-East tax tribunal orders First Bank to pay Adamawa N77m unremitted tax

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By Raymond Gukas, Jos 

First Bank Nigeria Plc has  been ordered to pay Adamawa State Government the sum N77.3million being outstanding task in favour of the state. 

This followed  a virtual judgement by the tax appeal tribunal, north east zone, which sat in Bauchi on Friday. 

The judgement was delivered at the first virtual sitting of the court on Friday and read by its Chairman, Prof. Bagoni Bukar

The said amount was the figure agreed by both parties at their meetings when the tribunal granted them out of court settlement.

In the judgement , the tribunal noted that the judgement was based on consent between the appealant and the respondent.  

According to the chairman,  “The Appellant with leave of this Tribunal   appealed  against  the Respondent’s  Notice of Additional Assessment dated July 29th, 2019 for the sum of N2.6 billion being alleged Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and 10% withholding Taxes on credit Interest for the period covering year 1999 – 2018 and a revised  demand Notice Dated October 30, 2019 for the sum of N498,3 million being alleged liability for unremitted withholding tax (WHT) on interest for the period  1999 – 2018.

The Respondent also with leave of the Tribunal orally applied to have its reply dated 23rd March 2020 deemed as   properly filed and served.  

The Tribunal granted the Respondent’s application and the parties immediately thereafter sought for adjournment to enable them seek ways of resolving their dispute amicably. After series of adjournments, the parties agreed on terms of settlement and urged the Tribunal to enter same as consent Judgment. 

Consequently, in accordance with the terms of settlement signed by a Director and Secretary of the Appellant, the Chairman and Secretary of the Respondent with Counsel to the Appellants Mr Mas’Ud M. Alabelewe and that of the Respondents Mr Tongshishak J.J. Danjuma witnessing and as adopted by Counsel on 30th June 2021, the Tribunal hereby enters judgment.

“That the Respondent has conceded, abandoned and or waived its claims to Withholding Tax on Credit Interest and Pay As You Earn for the period 1999 to 2012.

“That the parties have agreed that a Revised Demand Notice on Withholding Tax on Credit Interest for the period 2013-2018 and the resultant outstanding Withholding Tax on Interest Liability for the audit period of 2013 -2018 is in the sum of ₦24 million.

“That consequent to paragraph 2 above, the Respondent acknowledges the receipt of the sum of ₦24,075,343.07 in full and final settlement of the Appellant’s Withholding Tax on Interest Liability for the audit period of 2013-2018 vide   receipt No. AD/118831 of January 8, 2021.

“That the Respondent has issued and served the Appellant a Revised Demand Notice on Pay As You Earn for the period 2013-2018 in the sum of ₦77.3 million and the Appellant has agreed to same.

“That the Appellant shall pay the Respondent the said sum of ₦77,325,942.34 as full and final settlement of its Tax Liability on Pay As You Earn for the audit period of 2013-2018 . 

 “That the Respondent, its Agents and or Representatives have agreed to accept the above payments as full and final satisfaction for all tax liabilities arising out of suit No. TAT/NEZ/001/2020”, the judgement stressed. 

The north east tax tribunal has at least 13 other cases of tax dispute pending before it.

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