LIRS shuts 5 companies over non-remittance of N55.45m tax

The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has sealed five companies over alleged non-remittance of N55.45 million Internal-Revenue-Servicepersonal income tax of workers.

Mrs Ajibike Oshodi-Sholola, The Head of the Distrain Unit of the LIRS, Mrs Ajibike Oshodi-Sholola, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.

Oshodi-Sholola, who led the enforcement team, said that the tax liabilities of the companies were for between 12 months and eight years.

She said that only two companies’ liabilities were precise for the 2006 to 2011 accounting audit year.

Oshodi-Sholola said that the enforcement team targeted to distrain 10 companies but was only able to locate and sealed five companies.

“Out of 10 firms targeted by the team, only five were actually found and shut down, three others had relocated to an unknown destination, while two were not found at all.

“The tax liability of both the relocated companies and those that were not seen amounted to N23.05 million,” she said.

The official said that the addresses given by some of the companies in most cases were unrealistic and did not exist anywhere in the state.

According to her, fake addresses posed great challenge to the enforcement team because they spent hours trying to locate companies that might eventually not be seen.

Oshodi-Sholola urged firms operating in the state to regularly remit their taxes to the service to avoid sealing off their premises.

“Tax-payment is a civic responsibility of everyone because it is a major source of government revenue, and also the only means through which government can fulfill its electoral promises,” she said.

Oshodi-Sholola said that LIRS usually sent two letters of notices to the defaulting companies before they embarked on clamp-downs.

According to her, LIRS has sent tax liabilities demand notice and notice of intent to the affected companies as required by the Personal Income Tax Act Amendment of 2011.

“Each of the letters that we sent to the companies is received and acknowledged by either any of the companies’ staff or the management of the firms.

“Normally, firms are not even supposed to wait for anybody to remind them of their statutory obligation of paying tax to the government of the land where they operate,” she said.

The team leader said that the enforcement would continue until tax-payers imbibed the culture of voluntary tax compliance, adding that tax evasion was a criminal offence.

According to her, the companies affected by the tax law enforcement include hotels, an oil and gas firm, a hospital and real estate firm.



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