Tax Dispute Resolution: Navigating Lagos Inland Revenue Service’s Mechanisms in Nigeria.

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Taxation is a critical source of revenue for governments around the world including Nigeria. However, disputes between taxpayers and tax authorities can sometimes arise, leading to legal uncertainties and financial burdens for both parties. To address these issues efficiently and fairly, the Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) has established mechanisms for tax dispute resolution. In this article, we will explore the LIRS’s approach to resolving tax disputes in Nigeria, highlighting its significance and key components.

The Importance of Effective Tax Dispute Resolution:

Effective tax dispute resolution is essential for several reasons:

  1. Legal Certainty: Timely resolution of tax disputes provides legal certainty to both taxpayers and tax authorities, reducing uncertainty and facilitating better tax planning.
  2. Efficiency: A well-structured dispute resolution process ensures that disputes are handled promptly and without unnecessary delays, preventing prolonged legal battles.
  3. Reduced Litigation Costs: Quick and fair dispute resolution minimizes the financial burden associated with litigation for both taxpayers and tax authorities.
  4. Maintaining Investor Confidence: A fair and transparent dispute resolution system enhances investor confidence in the tax system, encouraging investment and economic growth.

LIRS’s Mechanisms for Tax Dispute Resolution:

The LIRS has put in place a comprehensive framework for tax dispute resolution, encompassing the following key components:

  1. Administrative Review: The initial step in resolving a tax dispute is an administrative review. Taxpayers can formally request a review of a tax assessment they believe to be incorrect. This allows the LIRS to reevaluate the assessment and make necessary adjustments.
  2. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): If the administrative review does not resolve the dispute, both parties may opt for ADR methods such as mediation or conciliation. ADR encourages dialogue and negotiation between taxpayers and the tax authorities to reach a mutually acceptable resolution.
  3. Tax Appeal Tribunal (TAT): If the dispute remains unresolved after administrative review and ADR, either party can escalate the matter to the Tax Appeal Tribunal. The TAT is an independent body with the authority to hear and determine tax disputes.
  4. Judicial Review: If a party disagrees with the TAT’s decision, they have the option to seek judicial review through the regular court system.

The Significance of LIRS’s Approach:

The LIRS’s approach to tax dispute resolution holds several significant advantages:

  1. Timeliness: The inclusion of administrative review and ADR mechanisms allows for quicker dispute resolution, reducing the backlog of cases in the formal court system.
  2. Flexibility: Taxpayers and tax authorities can choose the most suitable dispute resolution method, whether it’s administrative review, ADR, or escalation to the TAT.
  3. Expertise: The Tax Appeal Tribunal consists of experienced professionals in tax law and dispute resolution, ensuring that cases are heard and decided by experts in the field.
  4. Transparency: The LIRS’s approach promotes transparency, accountability, and adherence to due process, fostering trust between taxpayers and tax authorities.


Effective tax dispute resolution mechanisms are essential for maintaining a fair and efficient tax system in Nigeria. The Lagos Inland Revenue Service’s approach, which includes administrative review, ADR, and the Tax Appeal Tribunal, provides taxpayers with multiple avenues to resolve disputes promptly and fairly. This not only reduces the burden on the court system but also contributes to legal certainty, efficiency, and investor confidence. As the LIRS continues to refine its dispute resolution processes, the collaboration between taxpayers and tax authorities will be instrumental in promoting mutual trust and ensuring a vibrant and transparent tax ecosystem in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole.

For professional advice on Accountancy, Transfer Pricing, Tax, Assurance, Outsourcing, online accounting support, Company Registration, and CAC matters, please contact Sunmola David & CO (Chartered Accountants & Tax Practitioners) at Lagos, Ogun state Nigeria offices, You can also reach us via WhatsApp at +2348038460036.