FIRS arrests company officials over tax default

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has arrested some senior officials of three companies in Lagos for alleged failure to remit N2.17 billion in arrears of taxes.

A statement issued by the service in Abuja on Sunday said an enforcement team led by Mr. Abu Stephen, an Assistant Director of Legal and Prosecution Department of FIRS , carried out the arrests.

The statement listed seven companies which it accused of failing to remit arrears of taxes accruing to government.

The affected companies were accused of withholding Company Income Tax (CIT), Education Tax (EDT), Withholding Tax (WHT) and Value Added Tax (VAT).

Among the alleged defaulting companies are Pivot Engineering Limited (N609, 911,992:36), Reliance Telecommunications Ltd (N592, 756,627:00), HITV Ltd (N309,500,065:55) and UTC Nigeria Plc, N277,589,163:74

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Others are Sweet Sensation Confectionary Ltd (N155, 483,013:00), Entertainment Highway Ltd, N197, 444,964:55 and John Holt Nig. Ltd, N33, 073,487:52.

The service said the companies had failed to comply with series of notice on them to pay outstanding tax liabilities.

The statement said some of the companies admitted their outstanding tax liabilities when the enforcement team called at their offices.

“For instance, Mr. Opedemowo Olayemi, the Chief Accountant of Sweet Sensation Confectionary Ltd, said the company was owing to the tune of N60 million for VAT alone. Also, Mr. Dada Arokoyu of UTC and Mr. Muyiwa Fojude of Pivot agreed that their companies had outstanding tax liability to settle with the FIRS. Similarly when the team visited HITV Ltd, Entertainment Highway Ltd and Reliance Communications Ltd, their offices were under lock and key but security at the gates attended to the enforcement team.At HITV and Entertainment, the team was told that the GTBank sealed up the premises following a court order, while the Reliance Communication was sealed upon the directive of the Chairman of the company,’’ the statement said.

FIRS warned other organisations and individuals on the need to ensure deductions and remittance of their tax obligation in compliance with the law. (NAN)