FG working towards out-of-court settlement with states over VAT – Finance Minister

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

The Federal Government is considering an out-of-court settlement with states the ongoing dispute over the Value Added Tax (VAT).

This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Friday.

The Rivers State government in August dragged the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to court over VAT collection.

Lagos State later joined Rivers State in the suit challenging the federal government’s jurisdiction on VAT collection.

Justice Stephen Pam of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, in a ruling delivered on August 9 restrained the FIRS from collecting VAT and Personal Income Tax (PIT) in Rivers State.

FIRS later appealed the ruling at the Appeal Court.

Following the appellate court’s refusal to grant the Rivers State’s government request to stop FIRS from collecting VAT, the two states approached the Supreme Court for resolution of the dispute.

Ahmed, who disclosed this when she appeared on Channels Television, said the federal government was seeking a political solution to the dispute.

She said: “Yes, there will be a positive political solution to the VAT dispute. We are working towards an out-of-court solution.

“I have to do this carefully because they are issues in court, and I am not supposed to be talking about issues in court.

“But, I do hope that this matter can be solved by sitting on the table, not on the pages of newspapers, not disagreements in court because it is possible to solve it on the table.”

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