The Co-ordinating Secretary of the Tax Appeal Tribunal, Hajara Oniyangi, Esq, on Tuesday, launched an e-filing and case management system to improve justice delivery in the Tax sector.
The application manages the entire case process, from the point of filling to the point when the case is decided with the integration of a digital platform for the payment of necessary fees.
As part of the reforms of the tax system in Nigeria, Tax Appeal Tribunal (TAT) was 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.
Pursuant to the Tax Appeal Tribunals Establishment Order 2009, TAT was 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.
The Coordinating Secretary said the adoption of the electronic filing system was a calculated effort to improve access to the tribunal and to mitigate any obstacles associated with justice delivery that the essence of the tribunal as the first point of call on tax disputes do not warrant any delay.
“The main reason of adopting e-filing for the tribunal is for people to be able to have access to the tribunal within the comfort of their homes or their offices not necessarily having to travel many kilometers to file tax matter.
“Taxation is the central part of modern public finance. The importance of taxation arises from the fact that it is by far the most significant source of government revenue and is therefore the primary means of financing government expenditures.
“If there is an issue of taxation that is hanging, you know it is not good for our nation and that is why we have adopted this. More fundamentally, for us as an institution, we must leverage on technology to build public trust and confidence in Nigeria Tax system
“The software deployed captures every litigation process with enough flexibility from start to finish. We are proud for taking the lead among others and we advise other tribunal and superior courts to adopt this technology for the sake of the administration of justice.” she explained.
Oniyangi noted that tax tribunal cannot be insulated from the digital revolution, especially as technology development continues to advance, the law and justice system should not be frightened of it.
The event was witnessed by the Tribunal Secretary, Management and judicial staff; and questions were asked from the IT consultant, 4tune Technologies team lead, Fatai Abiodun who explained the workings and the flexibility of the software in the clearest terms.
Consequently, litigants and counsel can now file their matter/process via the secured online platform