Lagos revenue agency to shut more tax-evading companies in 2016

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode

As governments move to shore up their internally generated revenue and surmount the national economic challenges, the Lagos State government has resolved to shut more companies evading payment of company and workers’ income tax.

A unit head at the Lagos State Internal Service, Ajibike Oshodi-Sholola, said the closure option would be intensified in the coming year until more companies operating in the state imbibed the culture of voluntary tax compliance.

Mrs. Oshodi-Sholola stated this after a state-wide tax law enforcement drive on December 17, saying there were poor level of voluntary tax compliance and the penchant for cheating in Nigeria.

She said companies and individuals’ nonchalant attitude to tax remains a sad reminder of the nation’s dismal tax culture and understanding of sustainable economic development.

“In other countries, virtually everything is taxable, but in Nigeria, citizens and corporate organizations find it difficult to pay taxes,” she said.

Mrs. Oshodi-Sholola also noted that contrary to other opinions, the nation’s economic challenges would lessen if companies and Nigerians are tax compliant.

Meanwhile, seven companies were last week shut by the state government for their failure to remit N41.50 million deducted workers’ personal income tax to the government.

The tax liabilities of the seven companies, LIRS said, covers between 2005 and 2012.

The affected business concerns include hotels, real estate, an engineering firm, cosmetics and a security company.

On the challenge encountered by the agency so far, Mrs.Oshodi-Sholola said many of companies had either relocated to an unknown destination or changed address of business without notice.

“Such acts do not aid the operations of LIRS because if a company liquidates, change name or address, its management is supposed to inform the necessary authorities.

“Such information helps LIRS to stop accumulating tax liabilities for non-functional companies,” she said.

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