Listen to article
The Board of Internal Revenue (BIR) in Abia State shut down several business establishments in Umuahia, the state capital, on Thursday, Due to tax default.
Among the businesses affected were fast-food outlets, bars, and supermarkets, situated across various locations in the state capital.
Speaking to journalists post-operation, Mr. Francis Emeruwa, the head of the task force, and Officer in charge of Compliance and Enforcement, emphasized that the action was a result of the affected businesses’ failure to respond to multiple demand notices and invitations for discussion issued by the Board.
Pointing out that the indebtedness was from before 2022, Emeruwa conveyed his dissatisfaction with the apathetic stance of business operators towards tax remittance, citing this attitude as contradictory to the principles of good governance.
‘People don’t voluntarily come to pay their taxes. So, we have to use approaches backed by law to enforce compliance.’
‘Some of them have been owing since 2018, some since 2019. We invited them but they refused to come. We followed due process. We went to court and obtained a court order after they ignored several invitations.’
According to him, the present state leadership had exhibited dedication and concern for the citizens, stressing the need for individuals to reciprocate the Government’s numerous developmental initiatives by fulfilling their tax responsibilities.
He noted that the BIR Management, headed by Professor Udochukwu Ogbonna, was committed to increasing the state’s Internally Generated Revenue and ensuring transparent and accountable handling of all generated revenue.
He further said that the BIR boss, who oversaw a significant increase in the state’s IGR, remained prepared to duplicate this achievement and support the endeavors of the Governor Alex Otti-led administration in propelling the state forward.
The Enforcement Officer, expressing concern over the defaulting taxpayers in the state, urged them to clear their dues, emphasizing that it would assist the Government in carrying out its responsibilities towards the citizens.
Based on one of the court orders, it was noted that the defaulter in question had a debt of N650,400, between 2021 and 2022.