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Lagos shuts five firms over tax evasion

The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service has sealed five companies in the last two days for refusing to remit more than N9.4m income tax of workers.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria covering the enforcement team reported on Thursday that three of the companies were closed on March 11 for failing to remit N2.3m taxes.

The other two companies were sealed on March 12 for non-payment of N7.1m tax debts.

Mrs Folasade Coker-Afolayan, the Head of Enforcement Unit of LIRS, told NAN that the companies defaulted in the remittance of personal income taxes of their workers.

Coker-Afolayan, who led the team, said that the tax liabilities covered periods ranging from one to three years.

She said that payment of taxes was a civic responsibility of all workers.

Coker-Afolayan said that government needed the taxes to provide infrastructure for economic growth and improved standard of living.

“Tax payment is a civic responsibility of everyone because it enables government to provide adequate infrastructure for the people,” she said.

Coker-Afolayan urged tax payers and companies to imbibe the habit of prompt payment of taxes for the government to serve them better.

She warned the sealed companies not to violate the laws by re-opening their premises for business, reminding them that it was a criminal offence to do so.

However, the team leader advised the affected companies to produce evidence of their tax remittance if they had any.

She also solicited for tax payers’ cooperation to enable the tax officers perform their duties effectively.

Coker-Afolayan warned that it was a criminal offence to assault LIRS officials while on duty.

Some of the affected companies had accused the state government of not giving them a fair hearing.

They complained that some of the closed companies were not in operation.

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

NAN recalls that the LIRS had sealed 44 companies in the last two months over non-remittance of N460.6m personal income taxes of their workers.

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