Federal Government owned National Cereals Research Institute, Amakama, Umuahia, alongside the business premises of Millan Nigeria Ltd and Ifeanyichukwu Ugwu, both at Aba were, last week sealed for not remitting to the Abia State government their staff’s Pay As You Earn (PAYE ) tax deductions, which altogether amounts to N34,720,143.2.
According to Abia State High Court order signed by the presiding judge, Mr. K.O.Wosu, the research institute failed to remit the sum of N25,578,877.25, Millan Nigeria Ltd N5,375,916.99, while Ifeanyichukwu Ugwu is to remit N 3, 375, 350, as at when the state made the demands.
Speaking after the sealing, chairman, State Board of Inland Revenue (BIR), Mr. Udochukwu Ogbonna, said there were over one thousand other cases of non-tax remittance and tax evasion that BIR filed at the state courts.
He said as soon as the courts pronounce a sealing order, it is executed promptly, adding that the board on its own does not seal defaulters offices or premises. He also disclosed that there are other magistrate courts designated as revenue courts in various locations in the state to handle tax matters.
According to the BIR boss, the rate at which these courts disposed cases is slow, hence he called for the amendment of the relevant law to empower BIR to seal premises of tax defaulters.
Asked why some of those whose premises were sealed in the past have resumed business not long after, the BIR chairman said some filed appeals and before such appeals were entertained, the appellants paid at last 30 per cent of the amount expected from them.