The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday, announced in a statement that prosecution of tax offenders and evaders will commence from April 1, 2016.
Executive Chairman of the agency, Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, said the move became necessary because a large number of Lagosians had defaulted in payment of their taxes although the law stated that eligible tax payers must pay within 90 days of the New Year.
Ogunsanwo advised residents in Lagos to live up their tax obligations, he said the Lagos State Government will use the Rapid Tax Prosecution Unit to prosecute tax defaulters
According to the statement, “Under the Personal Income Tax Act, a taxable person is statutorily required to file a return of income for the preceding year within 90 days from the commencement of every year of assessment (March 31st being the deadline), while every employer of labour is required to file all emoluments paid to its employees for the preceding year, not later than 31st of January each year.
“Therefore, any taxable person or corporate organisation, who fails to file their tax returns with LIRS by the stipulated date, is in breach of the provisions of the law, which is a criminal offence that is punishable under the tax laws.”
“But it is disheartening to note that a large fraction of eligible taxpayers are still not complying, thereby failing to contribute to the common purse for the good of all.
“In the wake of little or no proceeds from the federation account, the focus of the present administration in renewing infrastructure and general development of the state cannot be achieved by the attitude of those who deliberately refuse to discharge their civic responsibility to the state.
“We are now going to the next phase, which is enforcement and prosecution, and we will take full advantage of the provisions of the tax laws to apprehend and prosecute tax defaulters,” Ogunsanwo said.