Lagos Set To Prosecution 28 Tax Defaulters
BEVERLY HILLS, April 11, (THEWILL) – The Lagos State government is set to prosecute 28 tax defaulters in the state in line with its resolve to leave no stone unturned in the bid to ensuring that tax evaders do not go scot-free.
The state had declared that the enforcement of tax laws became necessary because a large number of Lagosians had not paid their taxes, declaring that tax evaders and offenders, upon prosecution, might be fined or imprisoned or made to face both as provided in the personal income tax act.
This was disclosed on Monday, by Adeniji Kazeem, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, who revealed that the government has, through its rapid tax prosecution arm, filled all the necessary information at the Lagos State High Court for the arraignment of 28 tax defaulters.
Kazeem said the defendants, referred by the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), had committed offences ranging from failure to furnish and file tax return to failure to pay personal tax to the state thus violating 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 January 31, each year,” he said.
“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 observed that the government established the rapid tax prosecution unit to assist the LIRS in its drive to collect taxes, as he warned Lagosians to cooperate with tax officers as obstruction of these tax officers in their lawful duty could and would lead to prosecution.