Published On: Wed, Mar 30th, 2016

Lagos Internal Revenue Service Begins Prosecution Of Tax Defaulters

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By Dipo Awojobi – The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has said that it would commence the prosecution of tax evaders and offenders in Lagos State beginning from April 1,2016.

Lagos Internal Revenue ServiceThe service said the move was in consonance with Section 82 of the Personal Income Tax Act (as amended), adding that under the Act, a taxable person was statutorily required to file a return of income for the preceding year within 90 days from the commencement of every year of assessment.

“Whilst any 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,” LIRS said in a statement made available to the press on Wednesday.

The Executive Chairman of LIRS, Mr. Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, said in the statement, “We have a robust database that captures all taxable individuals and firms in Lagos State as well as transactions for the purpose of audit, so there is no hiding place for any tax evader.”

He therefore called on every taxable person in Lagos State to take advantage of the window on or before the March 31st deadline to ensure that his or her tax return has been duly filed.

He added that The Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice will through the Rapid Tax Prosecution Unit commence prosecution of tax defaulters in Lagos State without further notice.

According to him, while many taxpayers have complied willingly by filing their returns in the last months, many Lagosians are yet to comply.

“It is disheartening to note that in spite of all efforts by the LIRS, a large fraction of eligible taxpayers are still not complying, thereby failing to contribute to the common purse for the common good of all,” he said.
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