Lagos shuts four firms over N31.7m tax evasion

By The Citizen

The Lagos State Inland Revenue Service has closed four companies for failing to remit N31.7 million personal income tax of workers into the state government's account.

Mrs Folasade Coker-Afolayan, the Head of the Distrain Unit of the LIRS, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lagos.

Coker-Afolayan, who led the enforcement team, said that the companies were closed on Wednesday during the state-wide tax law enforcement.

She said that the affected companies' tax liabilities ranged from one to three years.

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

She said that tax payment was a civic responsibility of every citizen, saying that the proceeds were being used by the government to provide infrastructure.

'Tax payment is a civic responsibility of everyone because that is the only way government can provide the necessary infrastructure for citizens and also improve their standard of living,' she told NAN.

Coker-Afolayan urged taxpayers to remit their taxes promptly to avoid their premises being shut.

She said that the tax authority normally sent a demand notice to defaulting companies to notify them of their tax liabilities.

Coker-Afolayan said that a notice of intent had been sent to the affected companies in accordance with the Personal Income Tax Act Amendment 2011.

'As to whether they received the notice or not, that is purely an internal matter of the companies,'' she said.

Coker-Afolayan advised companies operating in the state to remit their taxes promptly, adding that they should not wait till the government enforced the tax laws.

She said that LIRS would continue to sanction tax defaulters and advised companies to remit taxes promptly to avoid embarrassment.

Coker-Afolayan said that it was a criminal offence to break government's seals on sealed companies.

Meanwhile, some of the affected companies that did not want their names in print, accused the state government of not giving them fair hearing.

They also frowned at the manner the government was enforcing the tax laws.

Some of them said that they were not notified on time of their tax default.

NAN reports that the LIRS sealed 23 companies in January over non-remittance of N326.6 million personal income tax of their workers. NAN