Our September 2019 Monthly Tax Seminar is scheduled for Thursday, September 26th and Friday, September 27, 2019, at the usual venue, Sheraton Hotel & Suites, Ikeja, Lagos.
The Theme of the Seminar is the recent LIEN imposed on alleged Tax Defaulters’ Bank Accounts by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
The Star Guest Speaker, Dr. Patrick Modilim, B.Sc (Civil Engineering), ACA, MBA, LLB, BL, DBA, will dissect the various laws, including the Constitution of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Federal Inland Revenue Service Act (FIRSEA) 2007, etc, with a view to ascertaining *The Legality (or Otherwise) of the Lien on Alleged Tax Defaulters’ Bank Accounts by the FIRS*.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is a creation of law and must operate within the tenets of the law that established it and the laws of the land wherein it operates.
The Power of FIRS to place lien on bank accounts of taxpayers (Section 31 of FIRSEA) does not envisage the freezing of a taxable person’s bank account since it does not suggest any circumstance of fraud or evasion which are the basis for freezing an account or confiscation of funds in an account as provided for in Section 8(1)g of the FIRSEA.
Hence, Section 8(11) of the FIRSEA does not justify FIRS directive to the banks to freeze customers’ accounts for the purpose of Tax Recovery.
FIRS is advised to adhere to constitutional standards of fair hearing and its enabling laws in tax enforcement/recovery.
Banks must note that if FIRS is deemed to lack the power to distrain the taxpayer’s money in this manner, the affected banks could be liable for damages.
Banks should therefore seek professional advice on the appropriate course of action to take, to avoid any violation of their obligations to customers and unnecessary lawsuits.
Aggrieved taxable persons should not shy away from seeking legal redress whenever they perceive that their statutory rights have been breached.
For a better society