Tribunal orders DSTV to pay N900bn tax backlog to Nigeria

A Tax Appeal Tribunal (TAT) sitting in Lagos has ordered Multichoice Nigeria Limited, owners of cable television services, DSTV, to pay 50 per cent of N1.8 trillion tax backlog to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

Mr Abdullahi Ahmad, the Director, Communications and Liaison Department of the FIRS, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.

Ahmad explained that FIRS discovered the backlog through a forensic audit as it showed that Multichoice Nigeria Limited had failed to pay to the Government of Nigeria in past assessment years.

He said the five-member TAT led by its Chairman, Prof. A.B. Ahmed, issued the order following an application to it by the Counsel to FIRS.

He stated that the Counsel made the application under Order XI of the TAT Procedure Rules 2010, which requires Multichoice or any other taxpayer who disputes their tax assessments, to make the statutory deposit required under Paragraph 15(7) of the Fifth Schedule to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act 2007 (FIRS Act).

According to him, these relevant laws are conditions that must be fulfilled before the prosecution of the appeal brought before TAT.

“In certain defined circumstances to which the Multichoice appeal fits, paragraph 15(7) of the fifth schedule to the FIRS (Establishment) Act 2007 requires persons or companies seeking to contest a tax assessment to pay all or a stipulated percentage of the tax assessed before they can be allowed to argue their appeal contesting the assessment at TAT.


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