18th June, 2010
Mr. Partick Iroro, Tax Controller at the Adeoyo Integrated Tax Office of the FIRS in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, has recommended jail term for tax evaders.
Iroro offered the suggestion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Thursday.
He said that a major flaw in the Nigerian legal system was that tax evasion was not considered a serious criminal offence, as was the case in developed countries.
“This is the reason why the wealthy ones, who should really be paying their taxes are not paying anything.
â€œYou also discover that because the law is not there to jail them, they go about freely,â€™â€™ he said.
Iroro called on government at all levels to emulate tax systems in developed countries.
He said, “No matter how high you are in the society, once you evade tax, you should be tried and jailed.”
NAN reports that Adeoyo Integrated Tax Office covers eight local government areas in Oyo State.
They are Ibadan South East, Ibadan South West, Oluyole, Ona-Ara, Ibarapa North, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa Central and Iddo.
Iroro called on the people in the jurisdiction to pay their taxes promptly.
“It is only when you pay your taxes that you can have the voice to ask the government what it had done with tax payersâ€™ money.
“If you donâ€™t pay tax, you donâ€™t have any right to ask government what it had done with tax payersâ€™ money,â€™â€™ he said.