n African Human Rights Law Journal - Payment obligations of taxpayers pending dispute resolution : approaches of South Africa and Nigeria

Volume 18 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



Taxpayers are obliged by law to pay taxes, yet both South Africa and Nigeria afford persons the right to have a dispute adjudicated by an impartial forum. This article examines the interplay in South Africa and Nigeria between a taxpayer’s right to access the courts and his or her duty to pay an assessed tax, the purpose being to determine whether the manner in which these countries approach this issue is constitutionally sound. The article demonstrates that Nigeria’s general approach ensures that a taxpayer’s right of access to the courts remains intact. However, it is illustrated that the South African ‘pay now, argue later’ rule unreasonably and unjustifiably limits a taxpayer’s right of access to the courts.

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