N2b lawsuit: I was forced to pay N7m to FIRS

A prosecution witness, Mr Bharat Vora, told a Federal High Court Abuja that the Federal Inland Revenue Service(FIRS) forced him to pay to seven million Naira to reopen his company. Vora, Managing Director of Mutunci Company Nigeria, during cross examination by the FIRS counsel, Mrs Efe Lawrence, said that the FIRS collected the money but did not reopen his business. He said that the service shut down his company in 2016 due to tax on discounts he never benefited from. Vora said he was not aware that the submission of tax returns does not stop the FIRS from re-auditing his company. He also said he was also not aware that issuance of tax clearance certificate does not preclude the FIRS from re-auditing his company.

Vora, said that the discounts he gave were not purported discounts, but were reflected in the company’s sales day book, ledgers and invoices. He said the invoice documents were not brought to court because “it would amount to such a huge bundle of documents.’’ The witness said he had nothing to hide by not bringing the invoices to court because the sales books were a direct reflection of what were in the invoices. Testifying on what goes on in the tax computation, the witness mentioned gross price, prices, discount, transport and net income sales etc. On discounts displayed in his invoices, Vora said they were categorically displayed in the invoices. He said he was aware the FIRS was empowered to charge tax on all transactions except on “exempted transactions.’’ He maintained during cross-examination that his company only gave discounts to a select few and not to the general public because it was the company’s policy. Vora is seeking two billion Naira as damages from the FIRS for illegally shutting down his pipe manufacturing and sales company in 2016. He is also asking for the refund of the seven million Naira the FIRS forcefully collected from him with a promise of reopening his business. Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned hearing of the defence until April 3.


Source: PM News