Lagos closes 16 companies over N126.19m tax evasion

The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service on Friday announced that it had closed 16 companies in the state over alleged failure to remit about N126.19 million consumption tax.
The organisation’s Director of Legal Services, Seyi Alade, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the companies’ tax liabilities were from 2014 to 2016.
Alade, who spoke with NAN during LIRS statewide tax law enforcement exercise, added that the companies were audited for the periods, but had not made the payments to the State Government.
According to him, the 16 companies have been closed down and prohibited from operation until they paid the taxes for the period.
“The affected companies failed to pay the established liabilities despite the long period of time the agency gave them to regularise their tax status,” he said.
Alade said four of the companies that admitted their tax liabilities made their payments and an additional payment of N100,000 each as distress cost to LIRS.
Alade called on companies and taxpayers in the state to update their tax payments and obligations to avert disruption of their operations and additional distress cost.
The director said that LIRS had sent several notices to the affected companies before embarking on an enforcement exercise.
He said: “Before LIRS embarks on such exercise, it must have sent at least two letter of notices to the management of the affected firms reminding them of their tax liabilities.
“The Demand Notice expiration is 30 days, while the Letter of Intention expires seven days after issuance.
“So, before now both the demand notice letter and the letter of intention have been sent to the management of the companies, which they failed to act on.”
Alade said the LIRS enforcement team had been repositioned to effectively track  companies and individuals who evaded tax payments in the state.
He appealed to Lagos residents to cooperate with the government by filling their tax returns and to promptly pay their assessed taxes.
According to him, the LIRS has made tax compliance very easy for the taxpayers through its recent launch of the Electronic Tax platform.
Alade urged taxpayers to make use of this platform for their comfort and ease of compliance with their various tax obligations.
Damola Falola, the Business Development Manager of Tyttlo Event Centre, one of the affected companies, however, said the company did not receive any Demand Notice letter from LIRS.
Falola, who admitted the company’s tax liabilities, said the LIRS’s action took them by surprise, adding that the company would soon meet with the LIRS for reconciliation and payment.