Lagos begins prosecution of tax offenders

L-R, Justice Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi (rtd.), Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, Gov. Ambode and Deputy Governor, Dr, Idiat Adebule

L-R, Justice Adesuyi Olateru-Olagbegi (rtd.), Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, Gov. Ambode and Deputy Governor, Dr, Idiat Adebule

Lagos State Attorney-General (AG) and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, has disclosed that the prosecution of tax offenders has began in the state.

Stating this yesterday, Kazeem said that the Rapid Tax Prosecution Unit has filled all the necessary information at the State High Court for the arraignment of tax defaulters referred by the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), and prosecution has begun in earnest.

The AG said that the offences of the tax offenders who numbers 28 ranges from failure to furnish and file tax return to failure to pay personal tax to the state. These offences, he said, violate the Personal Income Tax Act 2004 as amended and the Lagos State Revenue Administration Law.

“Under the Personal Income Tax Act, a taxable person is statutorily required to file a return of income for the preceding year within 90 days from the commencement of every year of assessment (March 31st being the deadline), while every employer of labour is required to file all emoluments paid to its employees for the preceding year, not later than 31st of January each year.

“Therefore, any taxable person or corporate organisation who fails to file their tax returns with LIRS by the stipulated date is in breach of the provisions of the law, which is a criminal offence that is punishable under the tax laws,” he said.

Kazeem emphasised that the state government established the Rapid Tax Prosecution Unit to aid LIRS in its drive to collect taxes, and enjoined members of the public to cooperate with tax officers as obstruction of their lawful duty can and will lead to prosecution.



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