The Government of Osun State has shut five federal establishments operating in the state for allegedly defaulting in remittance of taxes totaling N219.9 million.
The Osun State Internal Revenue Service (OSIRS) said in a statement in Osogbo that the establishments were shut on Tuesday because of their refusal to pay the revenue that was due to the state government.
The defaulting establishments are the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Retail Mega Station Osogbo, which owes over N27,95 million from 2008 to 2013, bank of Agriculture, Osogbo branch, owing N43.41 million between 2006 and 2013 and the National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife with a liability of N36.58 million from 2006 to 2013.
Others are the African Regional Centre for Space Science Technology, OAU, Ile-Ife with the liability of N80.15 million from 2006 and 2011 and International School, OAU campus with liability of N31.81 million between 2006 and 2011.
The Chief Executive Officer, Osun State Internal Revenue Service, Mr Dayo Oyebanji, who led the revenue team to the defaulting establishments said that the revenue service took the action after it secured a court injunction against them.
“The establishments were sealed in pursuant to the provisions of Section 104 of the Personal Income Tax Act 2004 as amended in 2011,” he said.
Oyebanji warned other federal establishments that are yet to join Integrated Personnel Pay Roll System (IPPIS) to do so and pay up their PAYE debt to the state.
“Other federal establishments defaulting in taxes were also listed to be shut by the service as part of its new revenue drive across the state.
“Those that are yet to join IPPIS pay roll system include FERMA, INEC, NSCDC, NECO, Nigeria Prison Service (NPS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS),” he said.
He explained that the revenue service will soon begin criminal prosecution of all tax defaulters in the state to ensure the defaulters face the full wrath of the law.
Oyebanji warned that affected organisations will remain shut untill they comply.
“All establishments shut would not be re-opened for business until all unremitted taxes are paid to the state government.
“The law is clear on issues bordering on tax evasion and the state revenue service will continue to take the advantage of the provisions of the law to prosecute recalcitrant corporate organizations and individuals without further notice.”
The OIRS boss stressed that evasion of tax is not only criminal but punishable.
“Any taxable person or corporate organizations who have not filed their tax returns with the revenue service by the stipulated 90 days is in breach of the provisions of the law, which is an offence that is punishable under the tax laws.”
Oyebanji listed such infractions to include, “non-deduction, withholding or non-remittance of Pay As Your Earn (PAYE) taxes that are deducted from employees; non-deduction and non-remittance of taxes of casual workers; and non-filing of tax returns at the stipulated statutory period.
Others are under-declaration of income, concealment of relevant information (income, fringe benefits) with a view to evading tax and failure to process electronic tax clearance certificate (e-TCC) cards for employees as a result of non-remittance of tax deducted from their emoluments.
Oyebanji stressed that the state revenue agency has intensified efforts on advocacy, publicity and enlightenment programmes on the statutory obligations of the citizenry to voluntarily comply by paying their taxes promptly, as prescribed in relevant legislations.
He however expressed regret that in spite of the efforts, many corporate organisations and individuals still engage in several infractions.
He however expressed gratitude to those who have continued to support to the state by performing their civic duties; describing voluntary tax payers as good citizens.
“Those who voluntarily pay their taxes are partners in progress.
“Through prompt payment of taxes, they have empower the state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to actualise his developmental agenda of infrastructural renewal, sustainable, habitable and safe environment among others,” Oyebamiji said.
By Adeyinka Salaam