…As NSCDC arrests 2 over alleged diversion of UNICEF materials***
The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) in its enforcement activities has shut nine companies and hospitality firms over alleged failure to remit N21.59 million consumption taxes to the state government.
The Director, Legal Services of the LIRS, Mr Seyi Alade, made this known during a state-wide tax law enforcement exercise by the Service in Lagos on Thursday, saying that the tax liabilities of the companies were between 2013 and 2019, because though the firms were audited for the periods, but failed to make the payment.
He explained that the tax liability of three of the firms were for the period between 2013 to 2014, while four firms were between April to July 2019 and the other two were for the period between May to August 2019.
He also said the affected companies failed to pay the established liabilities despite ‘the long rope’ the agency gave them to regularise their tax status.
He listed some of the sealed firms to include Krizions Intercontinental Cuisine, Mikacomic Nigeria Ltd., Resolution Finance Ltd., Vlelable Lounge and Oleander Water view Bistrodeva Ltd.
Others were, Printing Connections Ltd., Seven Season Lounge Ltd., VicJames Apartment and Carat 24 Business Hotel & Suites.
Alade said that LIRS sent several notices to the affected companies to remind them of their tax liabilities and the need to make payments before the agency embarked on an enforcement exercise.
He explained that the Demand Notice and the Letter of Intention were sent to the affected companies between Nov. 15, 2018 and Sept. 16, 2019 respectively.
“Before LIRS embarks on Distrain exercise, it must have sent at least two letters of notices to the management of the affected firms reminding them of the tax liabilities.
“The Demand Notice expiration is 30 days while the Letter of Intention expires seven days after issuance.
“So, before now both the Demand Notice letter and the Letter of Intention to distrain have been sent to the management of the firms which they failed to act on,” he said.
Alade, however, said that some of the affected firms had visited the LIRS office to make payments of their liability after the distrain/enforcement exercise and had equally paid an additional N100,000 as the cost of LIRS levy of the distress.
“There are no hiding places for recalcitrant taxpayers because the LIRS’ enforcement engine is now well oiled to continually carry out enforcement activities against recalcitrant companies and individuals,’’ he said.
He advised that Lagosians should partner with the government by carrying out their civic and constitutional responsibilities of filing their tax returns and promptly pay their assessed taxes in order for the good plans of government for the state to materialise.
Alade said that the LIRS had made tax compliance very easy for the taxpayers by the recent launch of the Electronic Tax platform.
He explained that through the platform, taxpayers could file their tax returns from the comfort of their homes and offices and also make relevant tax payments.
Alade urged taxpayers to make use of the platform for their comfort and ease of compliance with their various tax obligations.
He noted that being outside the tax net may prove detrimental to recalcitrant citizens who might not be able to access their bank accounts and other activities without obtaining the Tax Identification Number (TIN).
He, however, implored taxpayers to be mindful of the annual statutory dates of Jan. 31 for Companies and March 31 for individuals to file their tax returns.
Alade warned that the Agency was poised to prosecute anyone that fail to file tax returns within the statutory dates, saying that the offence could also result to custodial sentences upon conviction.
Also speaking, Mrs Kate Clinton, a Managing Partner of Seven Season Lounge Ltd., claimed that the company objected to the tax liability given to it.
According to her, the company is still working toward providing the necessary documents to justify its objection, which it has not been able provide before LIRS came to shutdown the company.
In another development, the Borno Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Thursday paraded two men over alleged diversion of learning materials distributed to displaced pupils by the UNICEF.
The Commandant of the Corps, Mr Ibrahim Abdullahi, made the disclosure while parading the suspects on Thursday in Maiduguri.
Abdullahi disclosed that the suspects were arrested while in possession of 86 cartons of assorted learning materials in Maiduguri on Oct. 4.
He said that preliminary investigation indicated that the items were donated by the UN agency to the Borno State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) for distribution to primary schools in Guzamala Local Government Area of the state.
“Further investigation linked the crime to one suspect (name withheld) currently at large. The educational materials are meant for Guzamala Local Government Area.
“Each carton contains learning materials for a teacher and 40 pupils, thus depriving an estimated 3,440 pupils and 86 teachers of the items,” he said.
According to him, the command has arrested 10 other suspects over various offences in the past one month in the state.
Abdullahi revealed that one suspect was arrested in Maiduguri while trying to dispose 13 meters of vandalised electrical cables to one buyer.
He said that the command also recovered four vandalised transformers from the suspects.
The commandant said the command also arrested a car vendor, (name withheld), for allegedly defrauding four of his clients, forgery and leasing out vehicles without the consent of the owners.
Abdullahi noted that the command recovered three vehicles from the suspect.
He added that two herdsmen were also arrested over destruction of farm produce and threat to cause injury to farmers in Maiduguri.
“After proper investigation both parties agreed for alternative dispute resolution and the herdsmen agree to pay compensation to the affected farmers.
“One of the suspects will pay N20,000 while the other is to pay N15,000 as compensation for damage caused to the farmlands,” he said.
Abdullahi disclosed further that the command also arrested two suspects over alleged production of fake Identification Cards (IDs); statement of results and Senior School Examination Certificates (SSCE).