On 30th and 31st October, 2017, SCP collaborated with the FIRS in organising the first FIRS annual national workshop on the role of the judiciary in the development of Nigerian Tax Law & Policy. The theme of the workshop was ‘Giving Life to the Nigerian Tax Law and Policy’. We believe that the judiciary is burdened with the vital task of giving life to laws, including those governing taxes. This resonates with the cardinal perspective of the realist school of thought that the provisions in the statute book only become effective and binding upon its interpretation by the courts. Experiences have shown that tax payers are reluctant to disclose and pay the appropriate taxes to relevant tax authorities, and tax administrators have encountered needless objections and barriers in the course of enforcing tax laws. This underscores the need for our Courts to be well abreast of the tax policies and legislation. The workshop was a targeted instrument towards achieving proper adjudication of tax cases in Nigeria.
It is a known fact that taxation is a major source of revenue and a veritable tool for the government to fulfil its obligations to the Nigerian citizens. Inadequate revenue limits the quantum and quality of social amenities as well as inhibit much needed development in the country. By a publication reported on August 4, 2016, the Federal Government announced the loss of $1 Trillion to tax evasion and tax avoidance by multinational companies. The workshop was directed at curbing the legal obstacles encountered by the Federal Tax Authority in the course of enforcing tax legislation.
SCP actualized the above objectives by synergising with the FIRS in discussing the following topics: Fundamentals of Nigerian Tax Law and Policy, Interpretation of Tax Statutes, Tax Appeal Processes in Nigeria, Judicial Response to Anti-Tax Avoidance Provisions in the Nigerian Corporate Tax Law, Taxation of Non-Resident Companies in Nigeria, Resolving Contentious Issues in the Taxation of Petroleum Operations in Nigeria Overview of the Nigerian Legal Frame Work and International Best Practices.
We applaud the initiative of the FIRS in birthing this annual workshop and training towards a transformation of our tax collection and enforcement, and we look forward to expanding contentious tax issues in the second edition of the National Workshop on the Role of the Judiciary in the Development of Nigerian Tax Law and Policy.