The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, has approved the Tax Appeal Tribunal (TAT) (Procedure) Rules, 2021 which replaces the defunct TAT (Procedure) Rules, 2010.
Issued pursuant to her powers under Section 61 of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, 2007 (as amended), the Rules replace the 2010 Rules and are intended to guide the practice and procedure of Tax Appeal Tribunal (“TAT“) proceedings.
Under the new rules, the TAT has a six-month time frame from the date of commencement of trial to conclude and provide a decision.
It also provides for hearing of ex-parte and non-contentious applications in Chambers as well as summary appeal procedure for liquidated money demands and requires taxpayers to pay 50 per cent of any disputed amount into a designated account of the TAT as security for prosecuting an appeal, prior to commencement of appeals.
Some of the new innovations in the Rules include Electronic filing [Order 3 Rule 5] and service [Order 7 Rule 5]. Under the Rules, all processes/documents which may be filed at the secretariat of the TAT may be filed electronically as directed by the TAT. Similarly, processes/documents are properly served if sent by email or any other electronic means as directed by the TAT.
Also, the Rules allow for virtual proceedings particularly for delivering rulings and applications using technology or platforms recommended by the TAT.
Under Order 4 Rule 2, the TAT sits in eight zones across Nigeria, even as appeals may be filed at the secretariat of any of the eight zones, provided the Notice of Appeal and the accompanying document are properly headed in the name of the appropriate zone of the Tribunal where the matter is to be heard.