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FIRS seals offices of tax defaulters in Yenagoa, rakes in N2m

By on January 27, 2014

Mr Patrick Iroro, Tax Controller, Yenagoa Tax office of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), said tax defaulters in Yenagoa had paid N2 million arrears after their premises were raided.

Iroro told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on phone that the raid, which lasted four days, yielded positive results as many of the defaulters had promised to pay up.

“We are expecting about N9 million from defaulters in tax arrears by April and some of them have written undertaking promising to pay in instalments.

“A total of 30 premises were raided with 20 hotels among them.

“After, we sealed four of the biggest hotels in town and about 10 other business premises, the other debtors started rushing to beg and promise to pay,” he said.

Iroro said business owners in the area had lackadaisical attitude to tax payment because they believed anything by government should be free.

“The compliance level here is very, very low.

“We have enlightened them through the mass media, written letters and even hosted them at our office for them to cooperate, yet they never complied.

“But since the exercise, things have started looking up for FIRS as more and more are coming forward to pay with others entering into agreement to pay,” he said.

According to Iroro, the exercise, which lasted from January 21, 2013 till January 24, would be a continuous one as another phase would be carried out after the review of last one.

“We decided to embark on the enforcement exercise because we realise that so many tax payers in town are not responding to our letters urging them to register and pay their taxes,” he said.

Iroro, however, disclosed that premises of defaulters who paid and those who signed agreements to pay instalmentaly had been re-opened.

The tax controller appealed to business owners to remit their Value Added Tax and file annual returns with FIRS to enable government provide Nigerians with basic amenities and infrastructure for better living.

Iroro said it was when the people paid their taxes that they could have the courage to challenge government if it was not living up to its responsibilities. (NAN)