The tax tribunal system plays a crucial role in ensuring fairness and impartiality in resolving tax-related disputes. Recognizing the importance of an efficient and transparent tax dispute resolution mechanism, the Nigeria Finance Act 2019 introduced reforms to the country’s tax tribunal system. These reforms aim to streamline the dispute resolution process, enhance accountability, and provide taxpayers with a platform for addressing tax disagreements. In this article, we will delve into the key aspects of the Finance Act 2019 reforms to the tax tribunal system and shed light on their implications for taxpayers in Nigeria.
1. Establishment of Tax Appeal Tribunal:
The Finance Act 2019 reinforces the establishment of the Tax Appeal Tribunal (TAT) as an independent body responsible for hearing and resolving tax-related disputes. The TAT is designed to provide an impartial and specialized forum for taxpayers to present their cases and seek redress. This separation from the tax authority contributes to a fair and transparent dispute resolution process.
2. Composition of the TAT:
The Act outlines the composition of the TAT, which comprises legal and financial experts with the knowledge and expertise to adjudicate on tax matters. The composition ensures that disputes are heard by professionals with the necessary background to understand complex tax issues and render informed decisions.
3. Jurisdiction of the TAT:
The TAT has jurisdiction over various tax-related matters, including disputes arising from assessments, objections, appeals, and penalties. Taxpayers can approach the TAT to challenge decisions made by tax authorities and seek resolution for disagreements on tax liabilities and other matters.
4. Speedy Dispute Resolution:
The Finance Act 2019 emphasizes the importance of speedy dispute resolution. The TAT is mandated to conclude proceedings within a specified timeframe, promoting efficiency and minimizing delays in resolving tax disputes. This ensures that taxpayers receive timely resolutions and reduces the time and resources spent on prolonged disputes.
5. Professional Representation:
Taxpayers appearing before the TAT have the right to be represented by legal practitioners, tax consultants, or accountants. Professional representation enhances the quality of arguments presented before the tribunal and provides taxpayers with the necessary support to present their cases effectively.
6. Enforcement of TAT Decisions:
The decisions of the TAT are legally binding and enforceable. This means that both taxpayers and tax authorities are obliged to comply with the tribunal’s rulings. The enforcement of decisions adds credibility to the tax dispute resolution process and contributes to maintaining a level playing field.
The Nigeria Finance Act 2019’s reforms to the tax tribunal system underscore the government’s commitment to providing taxpayers with a fair, efficient, and transparent mechanism for resolving tax disputes. The establishment of the Tax Appeal Tribunal and the outlined procedures contribute to a robust tax administration system that supports accountability and reduces the burden of prolonged disputes.
Seeking professional guidance and representation when appearing before the Tax Appeal Tribunal can enhance the chances of a favorable outcome. By embracing the changes and engaging in the dispute resolution process, taxpayers can contribute to a tax system that promotes fairness, transparency, and economic growth in Nigeria.
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, www.sunmoladavid.com . You can also reach us via WhatsApp at +2348038460036.