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Enugu State Govt. Seal 13 Hotels, Schools Over Non Payment Of Tax


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Enugu State Government weekend sealed up 13 hotels and one private school for non-compliance with its tax obligations and liabilities.

The hotels sealed include Top 10 Hotel, The Gate Luxury Apartment, Pentagon, Ekulu Green Guest House, Bonterra Suite, Richmond Hill Suite and Maybach Hotel.

Others are ; La Virgen Suites & Residence, Stella Cynthia Hotel & Suite,  Octopus Hotel Ltd, D-Kings Planet, Mary Suite, Torrequebrada hotel and  Kesandra Hotel as well as a private school  Divine Comprehensive Secondary School.

The action followed an order by the state  Hgh court issued on Wednesday November 29 2023 by Justice K. I Okpe-Judge.

Our Correspondent writes that Enugu State Government, through its Internal Revenue Service approached the Court seeking an Order distraining the Respondent for failure to pay their staff PAYE tax, Development levy and Companies Withholding tax due to the state government for the period of 2015 to 2020 for some and 2018 to 2021 for others.

The Enugu Internal Revenue Service also requested an Order authorizing it to recover the tax due from sealing the premises of the Respondent and sale of such goods distrained upon failure of the Respondent to pay the tax due and its costs and charges, incidental to the distress which was granted by court.

It was based on the court order  that the enforcement team of the Revenue agency stormed the various defaulting hotels and schools at early hours of Friday to seal them for tax evasion. 

Speaking with newsmen in his office shortly after the exercise, Chairman of the State Internal Revenue Service, Hon.  Ekene Nnamani stated that  after a tax audit it was discovered that several institutions have not been meeting their tax obligations for the past seven years.

Nnamani disclosed  that demand notices, warning letters as well as intention to sue have been served on the defaulting organisations but they failed to comply. 

According to him, the government will immediately unsealed their businesses after they show commitment of their readiness to meet their tax obligations and obey relevant tax laws of the state.

The state internal revenue service boss, noted that the government cannot carry out any development project if citizens and businesses do not pay their taxes adding that sealing of business premises is part of measures to ensure compliance.

He added: “We started our enforcement on tax payment and tax compliance this morning because several institutions in the state do not pay their tax as it’s supposed to”.

“We did what we call a tax audit on these institutions. We serve them demand notice. We serve them warning letters. 

Nnamani said  “We even serve them intention to sue them to court and when those things failed, we instituted a case against them in our courts, and after court have head our applications,  they rejected some asking us to go and do more work on them, and then granted us an order for 16 corporate entities who have failed to comply with the tax laws”

 “And today, we started enforcement to seal those companies and demand immediate compliance to our tax liability.

“You know that sometimes people believe they cannot take the  tax authorities seriously.  

“They believe sometimes they can get their way out. But this time around we are very much committed. We are proactive and we are diligent in what we are doing.

“So  this is not the time for us to begin to say I know this person, I don’t know this person. Let them go and pay their tax and that is what we are doing currently. 

He said “So our intention is not actually to destroy businesses, but to announce to the whole people of Enugu that we are not joking with our taxes. Pay your taxes”. he stated.

 


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