The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), has called for the suspension of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) tax appeal practice direction pending its revision.
The association made the call in a statement signed by its Director-General, Amb. Ayoola Olukanni, following its resolution at its 3rd Council Meeting in Akure on Thursday.
According to the statement, if the tax practice direction, which compels companies to pay 50 percent of the assessed tax to FIRS before any appeal to contest the assessment is allowed to proceed, most businesses in the private sector will practically collapse.
“Feelers from the organised private sector indicate that many businesses have been struggling to survive an unfriendly business environment which has been made even more difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The council is convinced that Micro Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) which are currently the bedrock of the economy and provide most of the employment will certainly be most hard hit and cannot survive the implementation of practice direction.
“Some of its provisions require enforcement and forfeiture of immovable property, freezing of a taxpayer’s bank account and sealing of their premises.
“With such action, many of them will go under and collapse under the weight of these provisions of the FIRS practice direction.
“The council, therefore, calls for immediate suspension of its implementation to enable a robust stakeholders’ engagement with the relevant authorities for a revision of the tax practice direction and other onerous tax matters. nan.”