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Five ICAN members sue FIRS over CITN tax enforcement

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Five ICAN members sue FIRS over CITN tax enforcement

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has been sued by five accountants at the Federal High Court in Lagos over its plan to enforce tax practitioners to use a seal of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) for filing annual returns to the Service from October 1, 2022.

The five plaintiffs which include Chief Afolabi Igbaroola, Alhaji Ademola Ogunsesan, Deacon T.J. Ishola, Mr Gbenga Afolabi and Mr Abiodun Adedeji are members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

Mr Olaniyi George, their counsel filed the suit, marked FHC/L/CS/1837/2022 on behalf of themselves and members of Licensed and Concerned Members of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria while the FIRS is the sole defendant.

According to the suit, the applicants are challenging FIRS over a May 31, 2021 Memorandum of Understanding published in the Tribune on July 27, 2022, announcing the implementation of the CITN seal as a condition precedent for filing of annual returns to the FIRS by Tax Practitioners from October 1, 2022.

They stated that the subject matter of the MoU was litigated by the plaintiffs and the FIRS at the Federal High Court in Lagos in Suit FHC/L/CS/1480/18, which is pending before the Court of Appeal, Lagos as Suit CA/L/CV/1210/19.

They prayed the court to determine, among others, whether the FIRS being an interested party and a party that actively participated in Suit FHC/L/CS/1480/18, and Suit CA/L/CV/1210/19 can “syndicate, facilitate, and/or mediate” on the subject matter of the appeal without their consent.

They also prayed to the court for five reliefs, including an order that the FIRS “cannot tamper, vary and dissipate the ‘res’ which is the subject matter of appeal in the Appeal and having had the knowledge of the appeal and injunction pending appeal and that the activities of the defendant in respect of the MoU…amount to affront to the power and jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal.”

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