Executive brief

Tax Appeal Tribunal (TAT) is established in accordance  with Section 59(1) of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act 2007. TAT formally took off pursuant to the Tax Appeal Tribunals Establishment Order 2009 issued by the Minister of Finance, Federal Republic of Nigeria as published in the Federal Government Official Gazette No 296, Vol. 96 of 2nd December, 2009. By this enactment, TAT replaces the former Body of Appeal Commissioners (BAC) and Value Added Tax (VAT) Tribunals. 

As part of the ongoing reforms of the tax system in Nigeria, TAT is set up by the Federal Government to adjudicate on all tax disputes arising from operations of the various Tax Laws as spelt out in the Fifth Schedule to the FIRS (Establishment) Act 2007. Specifically, the Fifth Schedule states that TAT has jurisdiction over disputes arising from the under listed laws:

  • Companies Income Tax Act (CITA)

  • Petroleum Profit Tax Act (PPTA)

  • Personal Income Tax Act (PITA)

  • Capital Gains Tax Act

  • Stamp Duties Act

  • Value Added Tax Act

  • Taxes and Levies (Approved list for collection) Act; as well as other laws, regulations, proclamations, government notices or rules related to these Acts.

Pursuant to the Tax Appeal Tribunals Establishment Order 2009, TAT is established in eight cities to cover the six geo-political zones namely: Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan, Benin, Enugu, Kaduna, Jos and Bauchi and a Coordinating Secretariat located in Abuja.

Consequently, the Tax Appeal Tribunal Chairmen and Commissioners were inaugurated on the 4th of February, 2010 while the secretariat staff resumed duties at their respective posts on July 1st. 2010 after a two-week induction training. This marked the formal take-off of the new Tax Appeal Tribunal in Nigeria. All proceedings before the Tribunal are guided by the Tax Appeal Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2010.

Tax Appeal is an important component of the tax system and the new tax policy offers a step by step objection and appeal process which gives the complainant an opportunity to explore other dispute resolution mechanisms before gaining access to the regular court system. According to the Establishment Act, both the tax payer and relevant tax authority can initiate the appeal process. A person aggrieved by an assessment or demand notice made upon him by the Service or aggrieved by any action or decision of the Service under the provisions of the tax laws administered by the Service may appeal against such action, decision, assessment or demand notice within a period of 30 days. On the other hand, The Service, if aggrieved in relation to any person in respect of any provisions of the tax laws, can also within a period of 30 days, file an appeal at the appropriate zone of the Tribunal.

It is the expectation of all stakeholders that the establishment of the TAT would reduce the incidence of tax evasion, ensure fairness and transparency of the tax system, minimize the delays and bottlenecks in adjudication of tax matters traditional court system, improve the tax payers’ confidence in our tax system, provide opportunity for expertise in tax dispute resolution, provide avenue for effective involvement of parties, focus on facts rather than legal technicalities and promote early and speedy determination of matters without compromising the principle of fairness and equity.