By BABAJIDE KOMOLAFE
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has insisted that its members can practice taxation unhindered.
In a statement issued weekend, ICAN President, Mr. Adedoyin Owolabi, said that the judgment of February 15, 2013 by the Court of Appeal did not restrained its members who are not members of Chartered Institute of Taxation (CITN) from practicing taxation.
He said that the judgment has rather vindicated ICAN MEMBERS and made it clear that there is no order restraining members of the Institute from practicing tax in Nigeria.
“As a matter of fact, the two key reliefs sought by CITN, which form the kernel of the controversy between the two bodies (reliefs 3 & 5), were actually set aside by the court, namely: A declaration that it is illegal for any member of the defendant (ICAN) who is not a member of the Claimant (CITN) to practice or hold himself out to practice as a tax administrator or practitioner for or in expectation of reward in Nigeria; “An order restraining members of the Defendant (ICAN) who are not members of the Claimant (CITN) from practicing, representing or holding themselves out as Tax”
“For the avoidance of doubt, we hereby reiterate that while the Court of Appeal held that Taxation is a profession distinct from Accountancy and gave CITN powers to regulate and control the practice of taxation, CITN was denied the right to declare it illegal for ICAN members who are not members of CITN to practise as Tax administrators for a reward in Nigeria.
“The Court of Appeal also refused to grant a perpetual injunction restraining ICAN members who are not CITN members from practicing, representing or holding themselves out as Tax Administrators or Practitioners in violation of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria Act No. 76 of 1992 Cap C10 LFN 2004. The import of the judgement is clear to all and sundry: ICAN members can practise taxation unhindered without being members of CITN.”
“ICAN wishes to use this medium to appeal to its members, other stakeholders and the public at large not to be misled by the media hype. The court ruling, which nobody can alter, is available for all to read and draw their conclusions there from.
As a law abiding body of respectable professionals, ICAN, which was established by the Act of Parliament No 15 of 1965, has operated within the limits of the rule of Law in the past forty eight years. Our motto is Accuracy and Integrity and we will not allow anything to distract or derail us,” the statement said.