Six companies have reportedly been sealed by the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service for non remittance of over N50m tax due to the state government.
A statement by the Executive Chairman of LIRS, Mr Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, on Wednesday, listed the defaulting firms as Nicon Town Management Company with a tax liability of N36m; Marketing Mix and Company Limited with a liability of N10m; Hope Valley International Clinic with a liability of N2m; and BEC Consultants Nigeria Limited with a tax liability of N792,563.47.
Others, he said, are Goldmine Global Services Limited, owing N505,812.73, and Brown Brommel Limited, with a liability of N368,159.63.
The government alleged that the companies owed tax liabilities for periods ranging from one to five years between 2007 and 2012.
The statement explained that the companies were sealed in accordance with the provisions of Section 104 of the Personal Income Tax Act 2004 LFN (as amended in 2011), adding that the errant firms would not be re-opened for business until all unremitted taxes were paid to the State Government.
Ogunsanwo warned defaulting companies, especially employers of labour that the state Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, had zero tolerance for tax evasion.
He said the LIRS would soon begin “criminal prosecution” of all tax defaulters in Lagos State to ensure that culprits were made to face the full wrath of the law.
The LIRS boss said under the Personal Income Tax Act, a taxable person was statutorily required to file a return of income for the preceding year at the expiration of 90 days from the commencement of every year of assessment.
He added that an employer of labour was required to file all emoluments paid to its employees for the preceding year, not later than January 31 of each year.
“In addition to that, employers will also be required to furnish the LIRS with the salary projection of all staff for the current year. The implication of which is that a taxable person or corporate organisations who have not filed 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.
He listed such infractions to include “non deduction of taxes (PAYE, Withholding tax etc), non remittance of PAYE taxes deducted from employees, non deduction/remittance of taxes by casual workers, non-filing of tax returns at the stipulated statutory period, under declaration of income, concealment of relevant information (Income, fringe benefits etc) with a view to evading tax, failure to process Electronic Tax Clearance Certificate cards for employees as a result of non remittance of tax deducted from their emoluments”.
Ogunsanwo explained that the LIRS had spent the last 10 years on advocacy, publicity and enlightenment programmes on the statutory obligations of the citizenry to voluntarily comply by paying their taxes promptly as prescribed in the constitution of the country and the applicable tax legislations.
He lamented that in spite of the efforts, many corporate organisations and individuals still engaged in several infractions.
He commended those who had continued to express their unalloyed support to the Lagos State Government by performing their civic duties, stressing that the voluntarily compliant taxpayers were seen as partners in progress with the state government.