Lagos State government through the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has closed down 34 corporate organisations for failing to remit Personal Income Taxes of their employees as well as non-remittance of Consumption Taxes, amounting to N356.12 million by operators in the hospitality sector, to the State government
Some of these companies include: NTS Nigeria Ltd., Med-In Hospital & Pharma Services Ltd., Danvic Petroleum Int’l Ltd., Business Intelligence Technology, Avaya Nigeria Ltd., Gladstone Tech Ltd., Courier Plus Services Ltd., Kurioucity Ltd., Medilag Ventures Ltd., Future Oilfields, and Seven Six & Ten Limited.
During the same operation, 23 hotels, restaurants, and event facilities were also closed for failure to deduct and remit Consumption taxes. These businesses include; Blitz Suites & Hotel, Offshoroomz Hotel, God’s Grace Hotel, De Orange Place Ltd., De Santos Hotel, Kentade Hotel Limited, Chamcee, Chelsea Suites, Falode Hotels, High Climax Hotel, Chez Moi Apartment, Excellence Hotel, Bereans Venture (Tantalizer Ebute Metta), La Avril Hotel & Suites, De Orange Place Ltd., Milaco Guest House, New World Inn, Model Motels Ltd, Rely Maritime Ltd, 4 Seasons Hotel, Dream Land Hotel, 343 North Restaurant and Lounge, and Jade Palace Chinese Restaurant.
The director of Legal Services, LIRS, Mr. Seyi Alade, during a state-wide tax law enforcement exercise conducted by the Service in Lagos on Monday, noted that the tax liabilities of these companies and hotels amounted to more than N356.12 million, saying, their actions have caused the State government loss of revenue.
He explained that the agency had previously reduced its enforcement activities to promote voluntary compliance by taxpayers. However, he said, certain companies and hotels chose to engage in tax evasion, adding that the renewed enforcement activities of the Service are targeted at such companies, restaurants, hotels, and event centres.
Emphasising that the primary goal is to secure compliance with the remittance of Consumption and Personal Income taxes, enabling the Lagos State government to carry out projects intended for the well-being of the vast populace resident in Lagos State, Alade further reiterated that, “these companies deduct Personal Income taxes from their employees’ salaries at the end of each month, and charge consumption taxes on goods and services purchased by customers.
Unfortunately, some unpatriotic firms choose to withhold these payments, illegally converting the funds for their own use.”
He issued a warning that failing to file tax returns or engaging in tax evasion are considered criminal offences that may result in financial penalties and, in some cases, custodial sentences upon conviction.
Noting that the agency is currently prosecuting some high net-worth individuals and companies that failed to file their Returns, he said, courts have issued Bench Warrants for some taxpayers in this category and three arrests have been made pursuant to these Warrants. He listed them as; Platinum Apartments & Suites, The Moonlight Place Enterprises and Jezreel Nursery and Primary School.
He warned that the enforcement exercise shall be a continuous one and it shall be visited on all erring companies, hotels, restaurants, and Individuals in the State if they refuse to regularise their tax positions immediately or if they fail to comply with all extant tax laws operational in Lagos State.