In most states in Nigeria, the revenue court is responsible for hearing tax matters as it concerns the State or Local Government. Before a revenue court summons is served on a business owner/premises, it’s presumed that such business owner has failed to pay a stipulated levy required by law despite service of demand notice on such business owner/premises.
This means that the case in question is now within the powers of the revenue court, and only the court at this point determines the next course of action between the revenue agency/authorities and the business owner who has been summoned before the court.

A demand notice on the other hand, is simply a notice requesting a tax payer to pay a particular tax/levy as required by law.
So, what do you do when your business has been served with a court summons?

1. RECEIVE THE SUMMONS.
Don’t evade or ignore such summons. A court summons is simply an invitation by the court, to explain your side of a complaint beign made against you (in this case, taxes). Therefore, should you fail to honour such summons, you stand a great risk of judgement beign given against you in your absence.

2. REACH OUT TO YOUR LAWYER WITH A COPY OF THE SUMMONS.
The importance of having your lawyer on speed dial cannot be over emphasized. Thanks to mobile phones, you can have access to your lawyer at the click of a button!


3. REMAIN CALM AND AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS FROM YOUR LAWYER.
It’s important at this point to maintain calm and avoid panic at this point. Being highly emotional would cause you to lose great control over the situation.
Having access to an objective professional with experience and who understands tax laws and procedures should be a great source of calm at this point.

I hope you got value from this post? If you need help in this regard, feel free to reach out to us through the link below.

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Cynthia Tishion
Cynthia is a lawyer and currently serves as Head of Corporate / Commercial Services at LEX – PRAXIS. With her passion for business and entrepreneurship, she is actively engaged in creating awareness on the legal aspect of businesses through various platforms such as writing, public speaking engagements.

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