FIRS seals off companies over N100m tax default

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Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, has sealed companies in Lagos, Abuja, Owerri and Kaduna over unremitted taxes.
The action, which came a day after FIRS closed down some of the offices of telecommunications company, Globacom Limited, in Lagos for failure to remit N24.3 billion in Value Added Tax, VAT, affected two companies belong to National Mirror publisher, Jimoh Ibrahim.
In Lagos, the FIRS sealed the premises of Swift Networks, an internet provider, and Pan Ocean Oil Corporation Nigeria Limited, for failing to remit huge amounts in VAT.
Swift Networks, which has its office on 31, Saka Tinubu Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, allegedly failed to remit N702 million to the government.
It’s office was sealed by FIRS officials led by the Director of Enforcement, Emeka, Obiagwu.
Chief Operating Officer of Swift Networks, Chuma Okoye’s pleading against the shutdown order, were rebuffed by Obiagwu who insisted that the company ought to have complied with the rules governing business in the country.
“Several notices have been served on the companies and I believe several moves were also made to compel the companies to remit their taxes. But most of these companies turn deaf ears; that is why we usually give them long rope,” he disclosed.
At the office of Pan Ocean Oil Corporation, the enforcement recorded some drama, with the company’s security men attempting to prevent FIRS officials from carrying out their duty.
It took the intervention of some members of the company to restrain their security men against preventing FIRS officials from enforcing the shutdown.
Efforts to get FIRS officials to give another period of grace were futile. The management of the firm was told to send representatives to the FIRS office to discuss how to remit the $29.2m owed in VAT.
At Century Energy Services Limited, members of staff were told to vacate their offices and the building was sealed up.
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Source:: Nigerian Pilot