The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has shut about 16 companies in the state over their failure to remit N126.19 million consumption tax to the commercial hub of the nation.
This was disclosed by the agency’s Director of legal services, Seyi Alade. According to him, the companies have been barred from operating their businesses until their tax liabilities have been paid.
It was learned that the tax liabilities were from 2014 to 2016. Babatunde Fowler was the LIRS boss in 2014 before his appointment to lead the FIRS in 2015; his tenure ended in 2019.
Nairametrics had previously reported that under Fowler, the FIRS failed to collect taxes worth about N41 billion in Lagos as it has not been able to meet up with its target over the past four consecutive years.
The taxes that were not collected were from companies, government agencies, and local government councils. This was cited as one of the factors that cost Fowler a second term.
Fowler was responsible for the growth of the LIRS when he served as the tax agency’s boss. He led the tax reform within the state, resulting in a sizeable amount of income for the Lagos State Government.
His tenure at LIRS is believed to have earned him the Executive Chairman position at FIRS in 2015. He was, however, in 2019, replaced by Muhammad Nami, who recently revealed why FIRS failed to attain its tax revenue projections under Fowler.
Penalty for delayed payment: In a statement issued by Alade, four of the companies were made to pay additional N100,000 as distress cost to LIRS on their initial debt to the tax agency. He said to avoid such penalties and disruption of operation, companies need to update their tax payments.
“The affected companies failed to pay the established liabilities despite the long period of time the agency gave them to regularise their tax status. Before LIRS embark on such exercise, it must have sent at least two letters of notices to the management of the affected firms reminding them of their tax liabilities,” he explained.
These companies ignored warnings: Alade further stated that “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.”
Meanwhile, Alade disclosed that the LIRS now has an upgraded system to track companies and individuals that evade tax payments in Lagos. He urged taxpayers to take advantage of the electronic tax platform in order to ease their payment process.