Hotel Owners Set For Showdown With FIRS Over VAT Collection

By Ezra 0dogu

The Lagos chapter of the Incorporated Trustees of the Hotel Owners and Managers Association (HOMA), has directed its members not to take the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) or its agents for collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) from their businesses, seriously.

HOMA, which consists of hotels, restaurants, fast food outlets, nightclubs, and related hospitality outfits, said it had been resisting efforts of the FIRS to levy VAT on the businesses of its members for some years now.

According to the association, the collection of VAT by the FIRS is contrary to the judgment of a Federal High Court in Lagos, that declared such levy as illegal, null and void.

HOMA’s position contained in a statement by the association’s President and Director General, S.O. Alabi and Adeniyi Ologun respectively titled: “Valued Added Tax Automation: Looming Apparent Injustice on Our Members,” noted that it had been having a running battle with the FIRS in the last four years in regards to the validity of VAT.

The statement read: “Hence, in the suit filed by our association at the Federal High Court in suit number FHC/L/CS/360/2018, the registered trustees of HOMAL Vs AG Lagos State and FIRS, the issue of the validity of VAT or Sales Tax was brought before the court.

“In the said suit, the Federal High Court nullified the application of VAT in the hospitality sector. However, an appeal was filed by the FIRS, and subsequently, a stay of execution was granted pending the outcome of the appeal filed.”

BizWatch Nigeria recalls that delivering judgment in a suit seeking to restrain the Attorney General of Lagos from enforcing the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption (Fiscalisation) Regulations Law (HORC), 2017, Justice Rilwanu Aikawa of a Federal High Court in the state had in 2019 barred the FIRS from enforcing VAT provisions on goods and services consumed in hotels, restaurants and event centres.

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