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S.I. 13 of 1992

Supplement to Official Gazette Extraordinary No 56, Vol. 79, 30th November 1992 - Part B

Federal High Court Act

Chapter 34

 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990

Federal High Court (Tax Appeals) Rules 1992

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Order 1

Notice of Appeal

 

1.

Notice of appeal.

2.

Time for giving notice of appeal, etc.

3.

Contents of notice of appeal.

4.

Address for service.

5.

Signification of documents.

 

 

Order II

Registration of Appeal and Service on Respondent

 

1.

Entry of appeal in Register of Income Tax Appeals.

2.

Service on respondent.

 

 

Order III

Grounds of Appeal

 

1.

Time to file grounds of appeal.

2.

Method of lodging appeal.

3.

Appeal to be by way of rehearing.

4.

Decision to be based on grounds of appeal filed.

5.

Discretion of the Court as to decision not on grounds of appeal.

 

 

Order IV

Transmission of Records of Appeal to the Court

 

1.

Duty of Secretary to prepare copies of proceedings.

2.

Compilation of records of appeal.

3.

Transmission of proceedings to the Court.

4.

4. Number of copies required.

 

 

Order V

Records of Appeal and Briefs of Argument

 

1.

Preparation of the records of appeal.

2.

Contents of record of appeal.

3.

Supplementary records of appeal.

4.

Brief of Argument

5.

Notice of hearing.

6.

Oral argument.

7.

Failure to file brief within time.

8.

Accelerated hearing.

9.

Enlargement or abridgment of time.

 

 

Order VI

Stay of Execution

 

1.

Stay of execution.

 

 

Order VII

Default By Parties

 

1.

Default by appellant.

2.

Application by respondent for judgment by default.

3.

Default by respondent.

4.

Substituted service of application.

 

 

Order VIII

Setting Aside Default Judgment

 

1.

Duty to give notice of judgment.

2.

Power of Court to set aside judgment and rehear appeal.

3.

Filing of copy of motion for service.

 

 

Order IX

Appeal Out of Time

 

1.

Application by motion.

2.

Power exercisable by Court on hearing the application.

 

 

Order X

Abandonment of Appeal

 

1.

Abandonment of appeal.

2.

Notice of abandonment.

3.

Notification to Registrar.

4.

Costs

5.

Dismissal of abandoned appeal

 

 

Order XI

Service of Process

 

1.

Service by bailiff or by registered post.

2.

Service of subpoena.

3.

Substituted service.

 

 

Order XII

Fees

 

1.

Fees.

2.

Body of Appeal Commissioners exempted from payment of fees

 

 

Order XIII

Transitional Provisions

 

1.

Pending appeals.

2.

Where no grounds of appeal filed.

3.

Residual cases.

 

 

Order XIV

Miscellaneous Provisions and Repeal

 

1.

Revocation.

2.

Application.

3.

Interpretation.

4.

Citation and commencement

 


Federal High Court Act

Chapter 34

 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990

Federal High Court (Tax Appeals) Rules 1992

 

 

Federal High Court Act

(Cap 134 LFN)

Companies Income Tax Act

(Cap 60 LFN)

Petroleum Profit Tax Act

(Cap 354 LFN)

Capital Gain Tax Act

(Cap 42 LFN)

 

 

 

Commencement :1st November 1992

 

 

In exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 43 (1)(b) of the Federal High Court Act, section 56 (8) of the Companies Income Tax Act, section 35 (13) (a) of the Petroleum Profits Tax Act, section 45 (1) of the Capital Gains Tax Act and of all other powers enabling me in that behalf, I, Muhammad Babatunde Belgore, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, hereby make the following Rules

 

 

Order I

Notice of Appeal

 

1.   (1)     Any person authorised to appeal by virtue of any Federal legislation that imposes any taxation shall give notice of the appeal (hereafter in these Rules referred to as "notice of appeal").

 

(2)     The notice of appeal shall be-

 

(a)   in accordance with the relevant provisions of the applicable Federal legislation ; or

 

(b)     where the case so requires, in accordance with the provisions of rule 2 of this Order.

 

(3)     The grounds of appeal shall set forth concisely and under distinct heads, the grounds upon which the appellant intends to rely at the hearing of the appeal, without any argument or without it being narrative and shall be numbered consecutively.

 

(4)    Subject to Order III rule 5 of these Rules, no ground of appeal which is vague or general in terms or which discloses no reasonable ground of appeal shall be permitted, save the general ground that the judgment is against the weight of the evidence.

 

(5)     Any ground of appeal or any part thereof which is not permitted under this rule may be struck out by the Court of its own motion or on application by the respondent.

 

2.     Subject to the provisions of any enactment, a notice of appeal shall be given in writing to the Department of Inland Revenue within 30 days after the date upon which the decision appealed against was given.

 

3.     The notice of appeal shall state whether the whole or part only of the decision of the Appeal Commissioners is complained of (in the latter case specifying such part) and shall-

 

(a)     state the exact nature of the relief sought

 

(b)    state the names and addresses of all parties directly affected by the appeal

 

(c)    be accompanied by a sufficient number of copies for service on all such parties ; and

 

(d)    have endorsed on it an address for service on each party.

 

4.     At the foot of the notice of appeal, there shall be stated the address for service, at which documents intended for both the appellant and the respondent may be served in accordance with the provisions of Order XI of these Rules.

 

5.     Any notice or document which is required by these Rules to be signed by the appellant or the respondent may be signed-

 

(a)     by a person holding a special power of attorney given by the appellant or the respondent, as the case may be ; or

 

(b)     by a legal practitioner representing the appellant or respondent, as the case may be.

 

 

Order II

Registration of Appeal and Service on Respondent

 

1.     (1)     Upon the filing of grounds of appeal, the Registrar shall endorse thereon the time and date of tiling the same, and the appeal shall be given a number and entered in a Register of Income Tax Appeals to be kept for that purpose.

 

2.    (1)     The Registrar shall cause a copy of the grounds of appeal to be served upon the respondent, whose address shall be furnished by the appellant in accordance with Order I rule 3 (b) of these Rules.

 

(2)    The Registrar shall cause a copy of the respondent's answer to be served upon the appellant at least 15 days before the date fixed for the hearing of the appeal.

 

.

Order III

Grounds of Appeal

 

1.     The appellant shall, within the period limited for filing his grounds of appeal under Order 1 of these Rules, file his grounds in support of the appeal (which grounds are hereafter in this Order referred to as "grounds of appeal").

 

2.     All appeals under these Rules shall be brought by notice (hereafter in these Rules referred to as "the notice of appeal") and shall be filed in the Registry of the Court in accordance with the provisions of Order 1 rule 3 of these Rules.

 

3.     An appeal shall be determined by way of a rehearing if the appellant so elects and the enabling enactment law so allows ; otherwise the appeal shall be determined upon the record of proceedings conducted before the Body of Appeal Commissioners and filed pursuant to Order V rule 2 of these Rules.

 

4.     The Court shall not allow the appeal or base its decision on any ground not set forth by the appellant in the notice of appeal, unless the respondent has had sufficient opportunity of contesting the case on that ground.

 

5.     Subject to the provisions of this Order, on the hearing of the appeal, it shall not be competent for the appellant to go into any other grounds other than those set forth in his notice of appeal

 

Provided that where, in the opinion of the Court, other grounds of appeal, than those set out in the notice of appeal, might have been given, or the statement of grounds of appeal is defective, the Court may allow amendment of the grounds of appeal upon such conditions as to service upon the respondent and as to costs as it may think fit.

 

Order IV

Transmission of Records of Appeal to the Court

 

1.     It shall be the duty of the Secretary to the Body of Appeal Commissioners to cause copies of proceedings requited for an appeal to be prepared with the utmost dispatch.

 

2.     Upon receipt of a notice of appeal under Order I of these Rules, the Secretary to the Body of Appeal Commissioners shall compile the record of proceedings before and after judgment of the Body of Appeal Commissioners and shall cause the same to be authenticated and transmitted to the Chief Registrar of the Court.

 

3.     As soon as the required number of copies of proceedings have been prepared, the Secretary to the Body of Appeal Commissioners shall forward them, duly certified by him, together with a copy of the Notice of Appeal and other documents concerning the appeal, to the Chief Registrar of the Court and the appeal shall then be deemed to have been entered and filed in the Court.

 

4.    (l)     For the purposes of rule 3 of this Order, the Secretary to the Body of Appeal Commissioners shall forward two copies to the Court and one copy each for service on each of the parties to the appeal.

 

(2)     All documents filed in the Court pursuant to the provisions of this rule shall be the office copies of authentic documents or proceedings and shall he verified by affidavit.

 

(3)    In this rule, the expression "authentic documents or proceedings" means copies of documents or of proceedings made from the record of proceedings served on each party by the Secretary to the Body of Appeal Commissioners and verified by affidavit.

 

Order

Records of Appeal and Briefs of Argument

 

1.     Within a period not exceeding 15 days after the date of the service on him of the record of proceedings by the Secretary to the Body of Appeal Commissioners, the appellant who opts to argue his appeal based on the record pursuant to Order I of these Rules and not by way of a rehearing, shall prepare the records of appeal in accordance with the provisions of this Order and shall file and also serve every party to the appeal with a copy of the records.

 

2.    (1)     An appellant who opts to prosecute the appeal by way of are hearing in accordance with Order III rule 3 of these Rules shall, within 15 days from the date of the conclusion of evidence, file, in substitution for Counsel's oral address, a written address in terms of rule 1 of this Order of these Rules, and the provisions of Orders II to V of these Rules shall be deemed to be written address as if it were a record of appeal filed under rule 1 of this Order.

 

(2)     The records of appeal shall contain the following documents in the order set out in this rule-

 

(a)     the index;

 

(b)    a brief statement giving particulars of the appeal

 

(c)     copies of documents and proceedings before the Body of Appeal Commissioners which the appellant considers relevant to the appeal

 

(d)    a copy of the notice of assessment

 

(e)     copy of the notice of appeal ; and

 

(f)     a copy of the grounds of appeal.

 

3.    If a respondent considers that documents or proceedings which are or 'nay assist his case have not been included in the records of appeal, he shall be at liberty to prepare at his own cost and transmit to the Registrar sufficient copies of a Supplementary records of appeal, incorporating such documents with appropriate index and the Registrar shall serve a copy of the supplementary records of appeal on each party.

 

4.   (l)     The appellant shall, within 30 days of filing the records of appeal, file in Court and serve on the respondent a written Brief being a precise statement of his argument in the appeal.

 

(2)     The Brief shall clearly state the issue arising in the appeal.

 

(3)     The respondent shall file in the Court and serve on the appellant his own Brief within 30 days of service on him of the Brief of the appellant.

 

(4)     The appellant may also file in the Court and serve on the respondent a Reply Brief within 14 days after service of the Brief of the respondent on him and except for good and sufficient cause shown, a Reply Brief shall be filed and served at least three days before the date set down for the hearing of the appeal.

 

(5)     All Briefs shall be concluded with a numbered summary of the reasons upon which the argument is founded.

 

(6)    Briefs filed under this rule shall supersede the grounds of appeal already filed.

 

5.    (1)     The Registrar shall give 15 clear days' notice in writing to the parties of the date fixed for hearing of the appeal and such notice shall not be given before the appellant has been served with a copy of the respondent's answer in accordance with the provisions of rule 4 (4) of this Order.

 

(2)     The provisions of Order XI shall apply to the service of notice of hearing.

 

6.    (1)     Oral argument shall only be allowed at the hearing of the appeal to emphasise or clarify the written argument appearing in the Briefs already filed in Court.

 

(2)     The appellant shall be entitled to open and conclude the argument.

 

(3)     In the case of a cross-appeal, the appeal and such cross-appeal £hall be argued together with the appeal as one case and within the time allotted for one case, and the Court may, having regard to the nature of the appeal, direct the parties as to which parry is to open and close the argument.

 

(4)     Unless otherwise directed by the Court, a period not exceeding 30 minutes for the appellant and 40 minutes for each respondent shall be allowed for argument.

 

(5)     Any request for additional time shall be made to the Court in writing not later than 15 days after service of the appellant's Brief on the respondent.

 

(6)     Any request made pursuant to paragraph (5) of this rule shall state clearly and in precise terms the reasons why the argument cannot be presented within the time limit.

 

(7)     A copy of such request shall be served on the respondent.

 

(8)     Only one legal practitioner shall be heard for each party, unless the Court otherwise allows.

 

(9)    Wherever the Court allows more than one legal practitioner for one side, the Court shall discourage divided argument coming from that party.

 

(10)   Save with the leave of the Court, no oral argument may be heard in support of any argument not raised in the Brief or on behalf of any party for whom no Brief has been filed.

 

(11)   When an appeal is called and no party or any legal practitioner appearing for him appears to present oral argument, but Briefs have been filed by all the parties concerned in the appeal, the appeal shall be treated as having been argued and shall be considered as such.

 

(12)   When an appeal is called and it is discovered that a Brief has been filed for only one of the parties and neither of the parties concerned nor their legal practitioners appear to present oral argument, the appeal shall be regarded as having been argued on that Brief.

 

7.   (1)     If an appellant fails to file his Brief within the time provided for by these Rules or within the time as extended by the Court, the respondent may apply to the Court for the appeal to be dismissed for want of prosecution.

 

(2)     If the respondent fails to file his Brief, he shall not he heard in oral argument except with leave of the Court.

 

(3)    Where the appellant fails to file his Brief, dismissal of an appeal under this rule (whether on the application of the respondent or not) shall amount to a dismissal on the merit

 

Provided that without prejudice to the power of the Court to strike out the appeal, such dismissal on the merit shall only be given where the Court is satisfied that a prima facie case has been made arising from the papers before the Court.

 

8.     The Court may, where it considers the circumstances of an appeal to be exceptional, or that the hearing of an appeal shall be accelerated in the interest of justice, waive compliance with the provisions of this Order in so far as they relate to the preparation and filing of Briefs of Argument, either wholly or in part, or reduce the time limits specified in this Order to such extent as the Court may deem reasonable in the circumstances of the case.

 

9.   (1)     The Court may, as often as it thinks fit, and either before or after the expiration of the duration of the time appointed by these Rules or by any judgment, order or rule of Court, extend or abridge the time for the doing of any act or the taking of any proceeding.

 

(2)     The parties shall not, without the leave of the Court, by consent enlarge or abridge any of the times specified by these Rules for taking any step or filing any document or giving any notice.

 

Order VI

Stay of Execution

 

1.     Notwithstanding that an appeal is pending, any tax assessed and affirmed by the Body of Appeal Commissioners shall be paid in accordance with the decision of the Body of Appeal Commissioners within one month of the decision 0£ the Body of Appeal Commissioners, but the Court may, after the appeal had been entered, order a stay in respect of the disputed amount by the appellant, upon such terms as the Court may deem just.

 

Order VII

Default by Parties

 

1.     If the appellant omits to do any act or take any proceeding within the time prescribed therefor or fixed by an order enlarging or abridging such time, or fails to attend the Court on three consecutive hearing dates, the respondent may move the Court to dismiss the appeal and the Court may thereupon give judgment dismissing the appeal.

 

2.     A motion under rule 1 of this Order shall he made on notice to the appellant and the respondent shall supply the Registrar with a copy thereof for service on the appellant and shall pay to the Registrar the fees for by filing and service.

 

3.     If a respondent to an appeal omits to file his Brief of Argument within the time prescribed therefor or fixed by an order enlarging or abridging such time or fails to attend Court on three consecutive hearing dates-

 

(a)     the Court may infer that he has no argument to urge the Court to decide in his favour on the appeal; and

 

(b)     unless the Court specifically calls upon him to address it on any particular point, he shall not be entitled to present any oral argument to the Court.

 

4.     The Court may, on good cause shown by affidavit, or otherwise, dispense with service of the Motion on Notice or make an order for substituted service.

 

Order VIII

Setting Aside Default Judgment

 

1.     Where judgment is given against a party in his absence and in the absence of the legal practitioner representing him, the other party shall give him notice of the judgment and attach thereto an office copy thereof.

 

2.     The Court may in a proper case, upon motion supported by affidavit after the notice to the party who obtained the judgment in the absence of the other party, set aside the judgment and give directions for the hearing of the appeal on such terms as the Court may think just; but no such motion shall be entertained unless notice thereof has been duly filed with the Registrar within 15 days of the date on which the notice of the judgment was served; and the time hereby prescribed shall not be extended under Order V rule 9 of these Rules in any circumstance whatsoever.

 

3.     Where a party delivers a notice of motion under rule 2 of this Order for filing, he shall supply the Registrar with a copy of the notice and of the affidavit for service on the party who obtained the judgment.

 

Order IX

Appeal Out of Time

 

1.     Where an intending appellant wishes to appeal after the period set by for doing so in any provision of any tax enactment or under any provision of these Rules, he shall proceed by way of motion filed in the Court, supported by way of one or more affidavits establishing the cause which prevented him from giving notice of appeal within the period prescribed by the relevant enactment or by these Rules and by showing that there was no unreasonable delay on his part.

 

2.     Upon hearing the motion) the Court shall have the power to enlarge the time appointed by the relevant tax enactment or by these Rules for doing any act or taking any proceeding upon such terms (if any) as the justice of the case may require, and such enlargement may be ordered although the application for such enlargement is not made until after the expiration of the time appointed.

 

Order X

Abandonment of Appeal

 

1.    An appellant may abandon his appeal by giving a written notice of abandonment to the Secretary of the Body of Appeal Commissioners, within 15 days of his appeal being entered in the Court.

 

2.     The notice of abandonment shall be signed by any of the person 5 competent to sign documents of appeal in accordance with Order I rule 5 of these Rules.

 

3.     Immediately after receiving a notice of abandonment, the Secretary '0 the Body of Appeal Commissioners shall notify the Registrar of the Court.

 

4.     Where the notice of abandonment is received by the Registrar of the Court after the appeal has been entered, the Court may, on the application of the respondent, order the appellant to pay to the respondent such costs as the Court may deem just.

 

5.     Where an appeal has been abandoned, it shall be deemed to have been dismissed.

 

Order XI

Service of Process

 

1.     Where any notice or other document has to be served on any party to an appeal under these Rules, the following provisions shall apply-

 

(a)    where the address for service in the town or locality of the sitting of the Court has been given by the party to be served and if any body corporate is concerned, service shall be sufficiently effected by sending the notice or other document by a bailiff of the Court delivering it at the registered address of the body corporate or the last known address of its business to an adult person employed or residing at such address, and the same shall sign for it and state his relationship to the person to be served or by registered post to the said address

 

(b)   where the party to be served is represented by a solicitor who has given his address for service and if the address is in the locality of the Court, service shall be sufficiently effected by the bailiff of the Court delivering the notice or other document to any clerk or other person in the employment of such solicitor at the address for service or otherwise by sending it by registered post to the aforesaid address whether in the locality of the Court or not

 

(c)   where the notice or other document is sent by registered post, it shall, unless the contrary be proved, be deemed to have been served at the time when the registration slip should have reached the addressee in the ordinary course of post

 

2.     The Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules shall also apply in respect of service of any subpoena on any person.

 

3.     Where service of a notice or other document on a party to an appeal service. in one of the manners specified in this Order has proved impracticable, an application may be made ex parte to the Court for a substituted service in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules of the Court.

 

Order XII

Fees

 

4.     The scale of fees for the time being in force in respect of civil actions in the Court shall be applied in the case of appeals under these Rules as if they were civil actions and as if the grounds of appeal were a writ of summons and the respondent's Brief were a statement of defence provided that the fees payable shall be charged at the applicable rate to writs of summons or the difference between the amount of tax payable under the assessment appealed against and the amount of the tax which the Court is asked to adjudge as being the proper amount of the tax.

 

5.     No fee shall be payable by the Body of Appeal Commissioners.

 

Order XII

Transactional Provisions

 

1.     These Rules shall not apply to any appeal pending on the date when these Rules come into operation if the grounds of appeal and the respondent's answer have already been duly filed.

 

2.     Where in any appeal pending as aforesaid, no grounds of appeal have been filed prior to the date when these Rules come into operation, such grounds shall be filed within 30 days from the date aforesaid and these Rules shall apply.

 

3.     In all other cases of pending appeals which have not been heard, the Court shall give such directions as may be necessary or expedient to ensure conformity with the requirements of these Rules.

 

Order XIV

Miscellaneous Provisions and Revocation

 

1.     The Federal High Court (Tax Appeals) Rules 1984 are hereby revoked.

 

2.     These Rules shall apply to all cases pertaining to all Federal taxation brought on appeal to the Court.

 

3.     In these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires –

 

"Board" means the Federal Board of Inland Revenue established by the Companies Income Tax Act, Petroleum Profit Tax Act, the Capital Gains Tax Act or other Federal taxation enactments ; or any other similar body replacing that body and performing the same duty

 

"Body of Appeal Commissioners" means a body established by section 53 of the Companies Income Tax Act, section 38 of the Petroleum Profits Tax Act or under any other enactment which imposes Federal taxation

 

"Court" means the Federal High Court

 

"Federal taxation" means any tax imposed by the Government of the Federation by an enactment

 

"legal practitioner" means a law officer, a state counsel or a legal practitioner entitled to practice before the Court.

 

4.     These Rules may be cited as Federal High Court (Tax Appeals) Rules 1992 and shall come into force on 1st November 1992.

 

 

Made at Lagos this 3rd day of February 1992

 

 

M.B. Belgore

Chief Judge,

Federal High Court