The Rivers State Governor, His Excellency, Barrister Nyesom Wike, yesterday, 6 September 2021 directed the Rivers State Internal Revenue Service to commence the implementation and enforcement of the Rivers State Value Added Tax (VAT) Law, 2021 (VAT Law), following the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)’ failure to obtain a stay-of-execution on the judgment of the Federal High Court (FHC) nullifying the VAT Act Cap V1, LFN 2004 in the case between the Attorney General for Rivers State and FIRS & Attorney General of the Federation.
Please refer to our Tax Alert Issue No 8.3 of 30 August 2021 for details of our commentary on the FHC’s judgement.
In a State-wide broadcast, the Governor noted that the State suspended the enforcement of its VAT Law pending the outcome of FIRS’s application for a stay-of-execution of the judgement before the FHC. However, with the failure of the application, all corporate bodies, business entities, and individuals in Rivers State are now expected to comply with their obligations as provided under the VAT Law willingly and promptly, to avoid sanctions. The Governor further assured residents that his administration would effectively use the expected proceeds from the VAT collected to accelerate the development of the state and improve their well-being.
The FIRS is yet to officially react to the new development. Businesses and individuals resident in the State are however advised to continue to engage with relevant professionals to help them navigate the challenges they may face with this dispensation.
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