The Federal Inland Service (FIRS), on Friday, continued its crackdown on tax-defaulting companies in Abuja.
FIRS enforcement team leader, Ruth Mandeun, led the team to seal the offices of Group Properties Limited, located at 132 Mediterranean Street, Maitama, Abuja. The company has a tax liability of N52,808,953.48. But the management of the company signed an undertaken with the FIRS that it would pay on or before December 23, 2016, and the company was subsequently unsealed.
However, Salem Quest Limited, which has its office at Block C8 Flat 3, Games Village, was not so lucky. The company, which has a tax liability of N273,536, made up of Company Income Tax and Education Tax, was sealed.Also sealed in Abuja on Friday was LifeWay Medical Centre at 60 Harper Street Wuse Zone 7. The company is owing the sum of N106, 234 as arrears of tax.
Also in Abuja, the FIRS team leader, Mrs. Ruth Mandeun ordered the sealing of the premises of Hakimco Automobiles Limited at the city’s Central Business District. The company is indebted to the tune of N335,902. The manager claimed to have paid the debt, but when given 30 minutes to produce evidence of payment, he disappeared and the company was shut.
Earlier in the week, FIRS enforcement teams in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt had sealed defaulting companies.
In Lagos, the team led by Mr. Umar Bukar Gana sealed off Mayssa International Limited, situated at 202 Etim Inyang Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos, over a tax debt of N133.8 million. The managing director, who identified himself as Mr. Robert, told the team that while the company owes, the debt is not on the scale the FIRS claimed. He added that the organisation is making efforts to pay what it owes, an assurance that did not impress the team, which shut down its premises. The team also sealed up Modesty Properties Limited, situated at 255 Muri Okunola Street, for a tax liability of N30.7 million. The exercise also affected Joza Global Logistics Limited, situated at 8 Ribadu Road Ikoyi, which was shut for owing N62.4million.
On Wednesday in Lagos the premises of Ace Products and Services, situated at 20, Sanni Ashmiu Close, Awoyaya, Lagos, was shut over a tax debt of N157.3 million.
However, staff of the company refused to open the gates for the officials despite properly identifying themselves as FIRS staff. The refusal to open the gates lasted about 15 minutes, after which policemen attached to the team forced the gates open and Gana promptly ordered the staff of the company of the premises and the place was then sealed.
The team also visited Globasure Technology Limited at 10, Ashabi Adewale Close, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. The company is indebted to the tune of N36.5 million, accumulated between 2007 and 2014 assessment years.
The company’s managing director admitted the organisation’s indebtedness, but said the amount of the debt was far below what the FIRS claimed it owed the government. He appealed to the team for more time, blaming the failure to pay on the harsh economic situation in the country. His plea was, however, ignored and the company was shut.
On Tuesday, the FIRS sealed Diplomat Hotel located at 1 Shonnyway, Shonibare Estate, Maryland, Lagos, which is owing N35.1million, accumulated over the last four years. The hotel’s customer care manager said they were “concerned about the debt.” The same day, the team closed the premises of Island Power Limited, a power-generating firm owing N132.5million from 2012 to 2014. The company’s administrative department was shut, leaving the power plant because of the essential service it provides. But at Conservative Estimate Limited, situated at 15 Fatai Irawo Way, Papa Ajao, Lagos, they met the premises locked as it had allegedly relocated four months earlier. The FIRS records showed that tax debt to be N15.8million.
In Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the FIRS team, led by Mrs. Anita Erinne, also on Tuesday, shut the premises of Universal Insurance, which has a tax debt of N82.1million. Also shut were the premises of Groundscan Services Limited, which is indebted to the tune of N22.6million.
Similarly, Moonwalker Connect Limited, which has its office at the Palms Shopping Mall, Lekki, and alleged by FIRS to be owing N61.2 million as arrears of tax was also shut down.