Lagos State has said it would no longer tolerate tax defaulters in the state but would immediately begin prosecution of defaulters as from today, April 1, 2016. This was contained in a statement signed on Wednesday, by the Head of Corporate Affairs, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) Monsurat Amasa.
The LIRS said it had put all the necessary machineries in place to ensure the enforcement of the tax laws with effect from today, April 1, 2016. They therefore called on every taxable person in Lagos State to take advantage of the window on or before the March 31st deadline to ensure that his or her tax return has been duly filed, warning all tax defaulters to comply; as failure to do so will attract the full weight of the law on the defaulters.
The statement stated:
“While many taxpayers have complied willingly by filing their returns in the last months, it is disheartening to note a large fraction of eligible taxpayers are still not complying. The focus of the present administration in renewing infrastructure and general development of the state cannot be achieved by the attitude of those who deliberately refuse to discharge their civic responsibility.”
“We have a robust database that captures all taxable individuals and firms in Lagos State as well as transactions for the purpose of audit, so there is no hiding place for any tax evader.”
The Lagos State government earlier had stated it has commenced the process of overhauling the informal sector with a view to ensuring voluntary compliance by all tax payers. It said this was necessitated because of the declining national revenue as a result of the fall in the global oil prices and the need for government to provide and maintain basic infrastructure.
The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) is reported to have contributed 79 per cent to the state’s Internally Generated Revenue in 2015, despite the harsh economic conditions.