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Tax Defaulters to Pay over N20b in Delta State, Nigeria

Source: U.U Enahoro
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Executive Chairman, Delta State Board of Internal Revenue (DBIR), Hon. Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, has called on companies operating in the state to pay up the over Twenty Billion Naira (N20B) tax liabilities within 14 days or risk closure.

Hon. Joel-Onowakpo who made the call at a stakeholders meeting with taxpaying companies held at Kayriotte Hotel, Effurun, said that the meeting was called because some companies have failed to live up to their responsibilities to the state government.

He said that the companies were found liable after the 2012 audited accounts, adding that the list of the defaulting companies would be published in the print media in the next seven days.

“It is with a very sad note I have been compelled to invite you for this meeting because some of you have not lived up to our expectations. Sometime ago, we had stakeholder meeting in which Tax professional were introduced to you and to work with you to provide seamless relationship. The idea behind the introduction of the Tax professionals is engender voluntary compliance and to prevent the Tax authority from unduly embarrassing you. Sadly, that is not so and many companies have failed.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please permit me to inform you that, companies seated here owe the State Government in excess of N20B. This position has become unacceptable in all ramifications and it is against government desire to rapidly develop the critical infrastructure to support its vision of Delta Beyond Oil. There has been deliberate refusal of Companies to attend TARC meetings or corporate with Tax officials in the discharge of their duties. There are others who are busy providing false information to mislead tax officials. The law is very clear about what to do under these circumstances,” Hon. Joel-Onowakpo stated.

He said, “The purpose of this meeting is to express the Board's gross displeasure over this trend and to inform you that, the Board will no longer sit and watch Companies not behaving responsibly on issues that concern Taxation in the State. Therefore, with effect from 25th of September, 2013, the Board will embark on mass enforcement of Tax defaulters. Companies are hereby given 14 days to clear up all their indebtedness with the Board forthwith. I am sure most of you here would have received your letter of final and conclusive demand notice. I have also directed the Director Enforcement and compliance to publish the names of companies and their indebtedness in the National dailies in the next 7days.”

The DBIR Boss expressed gratitude to companies who made it to the meeting. While saying that the Board was not going to take undue advantage of tax payers, he admonished tax payers not to also take undue advantage of the Board.

Speakers at the meeting commended the Board for the initiative of calling them to brief them on their plan and urged the Board to always carry them along in decision making.