The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has sealed three companies for failing to remit N2.3 million personal income taxes of their workers to the state government.
Mrs Folasade Coker-Afolayan, Head of the Distrain Unit of the LIRS, disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos.
Coker-Afolayan, who led the enforcement team, said the companies were sealed on March11 during a state-wide tax law enforcement programme.
She said the affected companies’ tax liabilities were for periods which ranged between 12 months and three years.
The team leader said the enforcement would continue until taxpayers imbibed the culture of voluntary tax compliance, pointing out that tax evasion was a criminal act.
“Tax payment is a civic responsibility of 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 urged companies to remit their workers’ taxes promptly to avoid their premises being shut.
She said LIRS normally sent tax liabilities’ demand notices to defaulting companies before the clampdown.
“LIRS notices of intent have been sent to the affected companies as required by 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,’’ the LIRS official said.
Coker-Afolayan also urged companies operating in the state to remit their taxes promptly, adding that they should not wait for government to enforce the tax laws.
However, the affected companies, while speaking through officials who asked not to be named, accused the state government of not giving them a fair hearing.
They also frowned at the manner the state government enforced the tax laws, adding that the additional cost of distrain which was N250, 000 was not necessary.
They claimed that the cost of distrain was on the high side, considering the economic situation of the country.
The LIRS had in the last two months sealed 44 companies over non-remittance of N460.6 million, being the personal income taxes of their workers.