THE ROLE OF COURTS IN THE INTERPRETATION OF TAXING STATUTES IN NIGERIA

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Date

2019

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School of Law, Kampala International University

Abstract

The rules guiding the interpretation of statutes cannot he lightly regarded, most especially as they relate to the interpretation of tax legislations and the approach of the courts when exercising their judicial discretion to opt for one of the several males. This is particularly imperative in the light of the fact that the interpretational rule applied by the courts often determines their interpretation of statutory provisions and ultimately the application of such provisions to the determination of tax disputes being adjudicated upon. This paper evaluates the rules of interpretation of statutes as applied by the courts in relation to tax legislations in Nigeria. The study employs doctrinal research method which entails library-based analysis of the content of both primary and secondary sources of law and information. Thus, the study found that the rule of interpretation opted for by the court determines the outcome of the judicial proceedings, and where the court has opted for the wrong rule of interpretation and consequently interpreted tax legislations wrongly, it is inevitable that its judgment and final verdict on the suit would have been reached in error (per incuriam), and would always readily be set aside on appeal. The study included that such wrongful interpretation and application of tax legislations by the apex appellate body (i.e. The Supreme Court), would set in an oppressive hinting precedence on lower courts. The article recommended that Nigeria should device efficient and effective legal drafting of tax statutes and legislations.

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Keywords

Role, Courts, Interpretation, Taxing Statutes, Nigeria.

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