The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), on Wednesday, shut down the premises of Debonairs Pizza and thirteen other companies (including several hospitality firms), over alleged failure to fulfill tax obligations.
According to the Director of Legal Services for the Lagos State tax agency, Mr Seyi Alade, the exercise was initially suspended, but will now be pursued until full compliance is met.
“Now, the service has resumed sealing of firms particularly the hospitality firms; it is committed to continuing the exercise until full compliance to tax payment and remittance are achieved.”
Mr Alade also added, with dismay, that less than 65% of the corporate organisations in Lagos pay tax. The remaining percentage of companies in the state go about their various businesses without paying taxes to the Lagos State Government.
Meantime, the other companies that were sealed off, according to theLIRS’ Head of Distrain Unit of the LIRS, Mrs Ajibike Oshodi-Sholola, include;
- Piccolomondo Restaurant,
- Virgin Rose Resorts,
- Precinct Comfort Services,
- Villa Angelia Hotel, Allied Management Ltd.,
- Ocean Suites,
- Sabitex Hotel,
- LCCI Hall,
- Extended Stay Hotel,
- Monarch Gardens Ltd.,
- La Maison Hospitality Ltd., and
- Villa Toscana Hotel.
Furthermore, Mrs Oshodi-Sholola explained that the companies were audited for 2014 to 2016, after which it was discovered that they were yet to remit their taxes for the period. She said that letters of intent to distrain were sent to the management of the companies. While some of them paid up their taxes and an extra N250,000 as the cost of distraint, others did nothing about it; hence the move.
“Before LIRS embarks on sealing, it must send two letters to the management of the affected firm, reminding it of tax liabilities. Both the demand notice and letter of intent to distrain were sent to the management of hospitality firms but they failed to act.”