Lagos Revenue Service Shuts Down 34 Companies Over N356.12m Tax Debts
The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has closed 34 corporate organisations for failing to remit Personal Income Taxes of their employees and for non-remittance of consumption taxes by operators in the hospitality sector to the Lagos State Government.
The LIRS disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.
The Director of Legal Services LIRS, Mr. Seyi Alade, while addressing a state-wide tax law enforcement exercise conducted by the Service in Lagos, was quoted to have reported that the tax liabilities of the companies and hotels amounted to more than N356.12 million. He said their actions had caused the State Government loss of revenue.
The LIRS listed some of these companies to include NTS Nigeria Ltd., Med-In Hospital & Pharma Services Ltd., Danvic Petroleum Int’l Ltd., Business Intelligence Technology, Avaya Nigeria Ltd., Gladstone Tech Ltd., Courier Plus Services Ltd., Kurioucity Ltd., Medilag Ventures Ltd., Future Oilfields, and Seven Six & Ten Limited.
“During the same operation, 23 hotels, restaurants, and event facilities were also closed for failure to deduct and remit Consumption taxes.
“These businesses include Blitz Suites & Hotel, Offshoroomz Hotel, God’s Grace Hotel, De Orange Place Ltd., De Santos Hotel, Kentade Hotel Limited, Chamcee, Chelsea Suites, Falode Hotels, High Climax Hotel, Chez Moi Apartment, Excellence Hotel, Bereans Venture (Tantalizer Ebute Metta), La Avril Hotel & Suites, De Orange Place Ltd., Milaco Guest House, New World Inn, Model Motels Ltd, Rely Maritime Ltd, 4 Seasons Hotel, Dream Land Hotel, 343 North Restaurant and Lounge, and Jade Palace Chinese Restaurant,” it added.
Alade explained that the Agency had previously reduced its enforcement activities to promote voluntary compliance by taxpayers.
However, “certain companies and hotels chose to engage in tax evasion. Therefore, the renewed enforcement activities of the Service are targeted at such companies, restaurants, hotels, and event centres.”
He emphasised that the primary goal was to secure compliance with the remittance of Consumption and Personal Income taxes, enabling the Lagos State Government to carry out projects intended for the well-being of the vast populace resident in Lagos State.
Alade further reiterated that “these companies deduct Personal Income taxes from their employees’ salaries at the end of each month, and charge consumption taxes on goods and services purchased by customers.
Unfortunately, some unpatriotic firms choose to withhold these payments, illegally converting the funds for their own use.”
He issued a warning that failing to file tax returns or engaging in tax evasion were considered criminal offences that may result in financial penalties and, in some cases, custodial sentences upon conviction.
The Agency is currently prosecuting some high-net-worth individuals and companies that failed to file their returns, he said courts have issued bench warrants for some taxpayers in this category and “three arrests have been made pursuant to these warrants, they are Platinum Apartments & Suites, The Moonlight Place Enterprises and Jezreel Nursery and Primary School.”
He warned that, “the enforcement exercise shall be a continuous one and it shall be visited on all erring companies, hotels, restaurants, and individuals in the State if they refuse to regularise their tax positions immediately or if they fail to comply with all extant tax laws operational in Lagos State.