We learnt that the Federal High Court (FHC) sitting in Abuja delivered a judgment yesterday that the Tax Appeal Tribunal (TAT) does not have jurisdiction over corporate taxation such as companies’ income tax (CIT) and petroleum profit tax (PPT). The FHC therefore dismissed the recent judgment of the TAT on recharges in the case by Global Marine Baltic Incorporation against the Federal Inland Revenue Service. This effectively makes the earlier decision in the Halliburton case the only case law on recharges by nonresidents.
The Constitution of Nigeria gives the FHC the exclusive powers to determine any dispute regarding the revenue of the federal government. To the extent that some taxes such as CIT and PPT are for the federal government, the question had always been raised whether the TAT has the jurisdiction to entertain disputes on such matters. The FHC may have taken the view that TAT's jurisdiction to determine these disputes is inconsistent with the Constitution and therefore void.
This latest judgment will have implications for all past decisions of the TAT on similar taxes and pending cases. I will provide further update as soon as we obtain a certified copy of the judgment.