FIRS Seals Four Firms in Port Harcourt, Lagos over N700m Tax Debt


Obinna Chima

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), thursday, sealed the premises of four companies in Port Harcourt and Lagos over tax debts of about N700million.

According to a statement, in Port Harcourt, the FIRS enforcement team shut down the premises of SC Industrial Gas Manufacturers Limited, situated at 61 Aba Road.

The company was sealed for failure to remit Value Added Tax (VAT) of N425, 530, 587.00 collected on behalf of government between 2014 and 2017, the statement revealed.

Also, in Lagos, the service sealed the office of ABB Nigeria Limited on Metalbox Road Ogba.
The company was deemed to be indebted to a tune of N125.164 million, claim the company’s administrative manager disputed.

The leader of the FIRS team, Mrs. Ruth Madeun, however, explained that if the company had no tax debt, her team would not have been to its premises.

Also affected were Great Bakis Limited, which owes N38.458 million, Boluke Pharmacy in the Agege area of Lagos, which owes N62.239 million and Resort Savings and Loans Plc, which had a tax debt of N74.8 million.

THISDAY reported recently that thousands of tax defaulters were already gripped by fear of being exposed following the intensification of transaction and income data collection by the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).

The scheme, which provides a time-limited opportunity for tax debtors to regularise their tax status by truthfully declaring, ends on 31 March.

VAIDS offices sources had disclosed that income, assets and transaction data of millions of Nigerians have been obtained from a variety of sources, including land registries, banks, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Corporate Affairs Commission, Nigerian Customs Service, Federal Airports of Authority of Nigeria and numerous payment information platforms.

The data have been analysed to yield tax debt profile of individuals and companies after which letters were written to defaulters, warning them to comply with VAIDS before the deadline.
Owners of undeclared offshore assets are equally certain to be tracked through a variety of multi-jurisdictional agreements to which Nigeria is signatory.

Among these are Automatic Exchange of Information (AEoI), which kicked off on 1 January.
It enables tax authorities in Nigeria to receive information, even without requesting, from tax authorities in other countries.