Lagos begins prosecution of tax evaders today

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The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has ordered the residents to comply with the legal provisions as required by law, noting that any tax evaders would as from today (April 1) be prosecuted.

In a release by Executive Chairman, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS), Olufolarin Ogunsanwo, it noted that, “In consonance with Section 82 of the Personal Income Tax Act (as amended), the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS),” notify the public of its intention to commence the prosecution of tax evaders and offenders in Lagos State beginning from April 1, 2016.

It explained that “Under the Personal Income Tax Act, a taxable person is statutorily required to file a return of income for the preceding year within 90 days 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,” LIRS stated.

It therefore 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, It is disheartening to note that in spite of all efforts by the LIRS, a large fraction of eligible taxpayers are still not complying, thereby failing to contribute to the common purse for the common good of all. In the wake of little or no proceeds from the federation account.

The focus of the present administration in renewing infrastructure and general development of the State cannot be achieved by the attitude of those who deliberately refuse to discharge their civic responsibility to the State.

LIRS argued, “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.”

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