Legal Nigeria

Lagos abolishes distrain fine on tax evading firms

The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) on Wednesday said that it had abolished the distrain fine on tax-evading companies throughout the state.
Ajibike Oshodi-Sholola, the leader of the Distrain Unit of the LIRS, that this was due to total compliance by most of the companies paying the taxes,Oshodi-Sholola said that the new administration cancelled the fine so that the erring companies should be able to pay up their taxes, without any additional costs attached.
The report states that the Distrain fine is the additional N250, 000 paid by tax evading companies before they will have their offices re-opened, after it has been shut by the LIRS.
Oshodi-Sholola said that nine companies were sealed for owing N18.6 million for tax evasion last week, during a state-wide tax law enforcement exercise.
According to her, the unit shut down six companies for owing N11.3 million on tax evasion on July 9, while another three companies were sealed off for also owing N7.3 million on July 10.
She advised the affected companies never to attempt removing the government seal papers on the doorposts of their offices, adding that such act is a criminal offence which attracts some penalties.
“The enforcement team usually goes out for spot-checks to identify the companies that might have removed the seals after the team left.
“Any company that may be found in the act of removing the seals will be charged to court for judgment and prosecution,” she said.
Oshodi-Sholola said that companies affected by last week’s enforcement exercise included: hotels, an oil and gas firm, a micro-finance bank and a digital photo laboratory.