Photograph — MRR

Nigerian companies with a lien on their bank accounts were on Tuesday issued a 30-day ultimatum to regularise their tax status and pay their dues by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

According to the tax agency, failure to comply with the directive within the given period would attract forceful recovery of the tax liabilities from directors, managers, secretaries and other management staff of such companies.

This is a demonstration of the FIRS’ commitment to recover unpaid taxes from defaulters in order to boost the government’s revenues. The current ultimatum follows the release of a list containing 19,901 tax defaulters (individuals and corporate) along with the names of their banks.

Among the prominent individuals and organizations on the list seen by Ventures Africa is Obasanjo Farms Nig. Ltd (Feedmill); Iyiola Omisore & Par; Citiroof Aluminium Co. Ltd; Coldstone Creamery Limited (Yaba); Davido Music Worldwide (DMW) Ltd; Grand Square Supermarket & Stores Ltd; Open Heavens Bliss Enterprises; and God is Good Motors (GIGM).

“This is to notify all companies, which had their bank accounts placed under lien … but are yet to regularise their tax status with the FIRS, that if they fail, refuse or neglect to pay the tax due within 30 days of this notice, the FIRS shall … proceed and enforce the payment of the said tax against all the directors, managers, secretaries and every other person concerned in the management of the companies and recover the said tax from such persons without further notice,” the agency said.

Prior to this, the Executive Chairman of FIRS, Babatunde Fowler revealed that the Commission wrote to all commercial banks in the country as at May 2018, requesting for a list of companies, partnerships, and enterprises with a banking turnover of N1 billion and above.

This activity was aimed at discovering companies that are complying with the tax laws and those that are not complying. So far, the latter organizations have paid about N12.66 billion.

Furthermore, the tax regulator earlier this year warned taxpayers on the impending claim to be imposed on their bank accounts for non-compliance with provisions of the enabling tax legislation on Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Withholding Tax. Other corporate bodies on the list of defaulters include Tiger Foods Limited; Slot Enterprises; Payporte Technology Limited and United Capital Plc.

As a way of punishing violations, FIRS had vowed to sell the properties of tax evaders in the country. Fowler added that apart from the sale of properties built and developed in corporate names on which the tax law was being violated, the government would freeze thousands of bank accounts as well.

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