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Lagos To Commence Prosecution Of Tax Defaulters In April

lirsThe Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) is set to commence the prosecution of tax evaders and offenders in Lagos beginning from the 1st of April.

According to the chairman of the LIRS, Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, the exercise is consonance  with consonance with Section 82 of the Personal Income Tax Act (as amended), under the Personal Income Tax Act, a taxable person is statutorily required to file a return of income for the preceding year within 90days from the commencement of every year of assessment (March 31st is the deadline), 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.

 

The LIRS, according to its chairman has put all infrastructures in place to ensure the enforcement of the tax laws with effect from April 1, 2016 has warned all erring taxpayers to comply; reiterating that the full weight of the law will be brought to bear on taxable persons who fail to file requisite returns as provided by the law.

While many taxpayers have complied willingly by filing their returns in the last months,  the service said  a large fraction of eligible taxpayers are still not complying, thereby failing to contribute to the common purse for the common good of all.

“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 calls 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

Ogunsanwo also  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.

“Without revenue, all of those things that facilitate our progress as a civilized community will not materialize, if there are no infrastructural developments like roads to get to business sites businesses cannot thrive, if we do not have all the services that government is compelled to offer e.g. security, education, healthcare, and law and order as it is being proffered by the court then we cannot make progress collectively.”

THe LIRS has also  gone further to develop various initiatives to ease the methodology of paying taxes in Lagos, starting with thesimplification of our tax payment processes, through the compression of the ‘Tax Form A’ from 6pages to 2 pages, introduction of new payment platforms, e-submission of annual returns, creation of the LIRS hotline (0700CALLLIRS) and help desks in all tax stations, relaxation of requirements for replacement of lost e-TCC among others, all of which are focused on building convenience into the payment of taxes and subsequently promoting voluntary compliance.

 

 

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