Three branches of Access Bank were on Wednesday sealed in Kaduna metropolis by the Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KDIRS).

The KDIRS said the three branches of the bank in Kaduna metropolis were sealed over non-remittance of over N175 million Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE).

KDIRS Secretary and Legal Adviser, Mr. Francis Kozah told newsmen that the branches would remain closed till the bank pays all tax liabilities to the Kaduna State Government.

He said, “We conducted a tax audit from 2011 to 2016 which revealed that Access Bank has not been remitting PAYE and withholding taxes.

“We are able to establish an unremitting liability of PAYE and withholding taxes of over N175 million within the period.

“KDIRS communicated to Access Bank the findings, made demand for payment and held several meetings with the management of the bank, but the bank refused to pay.

“We are left with no other option but to approach the court for a warrant to restrain the bank, and the court granted the order to seal off all the branches in the state.’’

He advised all corporate entities, including professional bodies operating in the state to come forward and settle all tax-related issues with the government or risk being sealed off.

“We are going to be fair to all taxpayers, but we will remain firm and decisive in ensuring that all taxpayers pay what is due to the state government,” he said.

KDIRS Head of Enforcement, Ado Garba, also said that the revenue agency was currently finalising tax audit of some corporate entities, including individuals.

He said the agency will go after anyone, banks, companies, professional bodies and other businesses found withholding tax.

“We are open to negotiation with Access Bank, but I assure you that we will only open the branches if the management settle the tax liabilities, including N250,000 cost incurred in sealing the
branches.”

The bank branches are located along Bida Road, Ahmadu Bello Way and Isa Kaita Road.

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