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Sealing up tax defaulters premises now a continuous drive nationwide—FIRS

The management of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has said that its ongoing crackdown on tax-defaulting companies in Abuja, Lagos and other parts of the country has become a continuous process designed to deepen tax culture.

In an exclusive interview with a top official of the Service on Sunday, the officer who pleaded anonymity said “Since corporate citizens have resorted to evading tax with impunity, we have no other choice than to track them using all available legal means”.

“We have a strategy. Whenever you hear that FIRS shut down any company, please note that all necessary reminders had been sent but friendly discussions on the matter was abortive.

“It is important to inform Nigerians that FIRS is not out to frustrate any company on business, but to encourage everybody including companies to always be in the part of honours by paying government taxes as and when due.

It would be recalled that the enforcement operatives of the Service, led by Zubairu Usman, sealed off the offices of Dayak Nigeria Limited, located at Idu Industrial Layout in Area One part of the city, according to a statement.

The company allegedly has a Value Added Tax liability of N41,535,829.47 owed between 2013 and 2016.

However, R.T Communications, with an alleged tax liability of N106,408,475.00, could not be located at its registered address within the raid.

Again, Ceezali Limited, located at Thaba Tseka Street, which was thought to owe N14,603,941.00, presented evidence of payment and was not sealed.

Within last week also, FIRS tax enforcement had shut Ace Products and Services Limited located at 20, Sanni Ashimu Close, Ologun Bus stop, Awoyaya, Lagos, over an alleged tax debt of N157.562m.

On Monday, four companies in Lagos and Port Harcourt were shut over their alleged failure to meet their tax obligations totalling N630m.

The affected firms include Charcoal and Spices Restaurant Limited, GRA, Port Harcourt; and Cioscon Nigerian Limited of 14 Aba Road, Port Harcourt.

The leader of the FIRS enforcement team, Mrs. Anita Erinne, sealed both companies after showing a warrant to officials of the firms.

Charcoal and Spices Restaurant Limited allegedly owed N12,388,979.50, while Cioscon Nigerian Limited was said to have a tax liability of N479,203,464.43 from 2014 to 2016, which it had allegedly failed to remit.

Erinne told the defaulting firms that their premises would be unsealed when they cleared their outstanding tax bills.

FIRS also sealed off Finchglow Travels Agency at 25, Ademola Street, Ikoyi, Lagos, over an alleged tax debt of N30.553m on Tuesday last week. Other firms sealed include Westcom Technologies at 18 A, Onikepo Akande Street, Lekki Phase I, Lagos, which reportedly owed N25.978m; and Globasure Technologies Limited at Plot 10B2, Lekki Phase I, Lagos, which was also said to owe N34.572m in tax debt.