According to reports, the Osun State Internal Revenue Service (OIRS) on Wednesday announced the sealing of the offices of telecommunication firm, Globacom, in the state for not effecting the payment of outstanding taxes and other levies in respect of mast/ base station and laying of fibre optics.
The state said the charges became “due and payable to the Osun State Government arising from back- Duty-Investigation-Exercise”.
This Acting Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Osun Internal Revenue Service, Dayo Oyebanji, said the action became necessary following Globacom’s non-compliance in ensuring remittance of all outstanding taxes due to the State.
“The distrain action is in line with the provision of Section 104 of the personal Income Tax Act 2004 LFN (as amended in 2011) and will not be reopened for business until all full compliance is attained,” Mr. Oyebanji said.
He said several meetings were held with the company’s representatives in the past three years to resolve the issue, but that the company failed to comply.
The latest meetings, he said, were held October 8 and November 13, 2015, adding that the company’s representatives reneged on their promise to facilitate payment.
Mr. Oyebanji said the Osun State House of Assembly also intervened in the matter by inviting Globacom to appear before its special session on December 3, 2015.
He said representatives of the company appeared before the House on that day, the promises they made to remit the outstanding tax liabilities within two weeks were yet to be kept.
Mr. Oyebanji added, “Another important issue is the failure to obtain relevant approval for laying of fibre optics in line with the State’s relevant regulation on physical and urban planning. He emphasized that in the last few months, it has been discovered that GLO has been laying cables and masts especially in Ife Axis without obtaining necessary approval and thus violating the law.
“OIRS has intensified its efforts on advocacy, publicity and enlightenment programmes on the statutory obligations of the citizenry for voluntary compliance by paying their taxes promptly as prescribed in the Nigeria constitution and the applicable tax legislations.
“In spite of its efforts, some corporate organizations and individuals still engage in several violations. As a result of this, OIRS is set to begin enforcement of tax payment, prosecution of all tax defaulters in the State of Osun to ensure that the defaulters are made to face the full scale of the law.
“Personal Income Tax Act mandates all taxable institutions to file its annual tax return for the preceding year at the expiration of 90 days from the commencement of every year of assessment, a taxable person or corporate organizations who fails to file its returns with OIRS by the stipulated date is in breach of the provisions of the law.”
He, however, thanked those who had continued to express their unalloyed support to the State through their regular tax payment. He assured members of the public that the state government remained committed to building a vibrant economy aimed at boosting commerce, industry and improving the welfare of the citizenry which he said could only be achieved through prompt tax payments.
He said the OIRS would “not hesitate to take legal action against recalcitrant individuals or corporate organizations that fail to perform their civic responsibility to the State government in the area of tax payment”.