The Lagos State Government on Monday said its Rapid Tax Prosecution Unit had begun prosecution of recalcitrant tax payers.
This is contained in a statement by the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem.
Kazeem said that the Unit had filed all the necessary information at the State High Court for the arraignment of 28 tax defaulters.
He said the defaulers were referred by the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) and prosecution had begun in earnest.
According to him, their offences range from failure to furnish and file tax return to failure to pay personal tax to the state.
He said that the offences violated the Personal Income Tax Act 2004 as amended and the Lagos State Revenue Administration law.
Kazeem said under the Act, a taxable person was statutorily required to file a return of income for the preceding year within 90 days from the commencement of every year of assessment.
He said that every employer of labour was required to file all emoluments paid to its employees for the preceding year, not later than Jan. 31 of 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,” Kazeem said.
He said that the State Government established the Rapid Tax Prosecution Unit to aid the LIRS in its drive to collect taxes.
He warned members of the public to cooperate with tax officers as obstruction of these tax officers in their lawful duty would lead to prosecution.
Kazeem said the enforcement of the tax laws became necessary because a large number of residents had not paid their taxes.
He said tax evaders and offenders, upon prosecution, might be fined or imprisoned or made to face both as provided in the Personal Income Tax Act. (NAN)
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