Lagos - The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has shut down seven companies for failing to remit about N58.8 million personal income taxes of workers to government.
Folasade Coker-Afolayan, Head of the Distrain Unit of the LIRS, announced this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
Coker-Afolayan, who led the enforcement team, said that the companies were sealed on Wednesday during a state-wide tax enforcement drive.
She said that the affected companies’ tax liabilities covered between one and four years.
According to her, the enforcement will continue until companies and workers imbibed the culture of voluntary tax compliance.
“Tax evasion is a crime and it is a serious crime to evade tax for so many years.
“Tax payment is also a civic responsibility for everyone because that is the only way government can provide the necessary infrastructure for the citizens and also improve their standard of living,” she said.
Coker-Afolayan also urged companies to remit the personal income tax of their workers promptly to avoid closure of their business premises.
She said that LIRS usually followed due process by notifying companies severally before shutting down defaulting ones.
She also said that a notice of intent had been sent to the affected companies in accordance with the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) amendment 2011.
“As to whether they received the notices or not, that is purely an internal matter of the companies," she said.
Coker-Afolayan advised companies operating in the state to remit their taxes promptly and not to wait until government enforced the tax laws.
Meanwhile, some of the affected companies accused the state government of not giving them fair hearing on the alleged tax issues.
They also said that the LIRS enforcement approach was barbaric and inimical to business growth and economic development.
They urged the state government to establish a quasi-legal body for effective resolution of the allegations levelled against operating business concerns.