By Victor Otigbu
BENIN CITY—THE Edo State government disclosed yesterday that Federal Government agencies and parastatals as well as private institutions have failed to remit their respective taxes which amounts to over N2 billion to the coffers of the state government.
The Edo Board of Internal Revenue Service disclosed this during a one-day sensitisation programme for heads of federal MDAs in Benin City. The Executive Director (Enforcement) of the revenue agency, Mr. Emmanuel Usoh, explained that the tax debtors were in arrears for 2014 and 2015.
He said: ”Both individuals and federal MDAs, in particular, are defaulting. Also individual debts are up with over one billion naira for last year (2015).
“We have others for last two years that we have got court orders against federal MDAs that have been taken over by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, grossing close to N1.8 billion.”
Usoh noted that the agency would, however, not hesitate to press criminal charges against defaulting institutions in order to ensure that the state improves its revenue generation amidst the decrease in federal allocations.
“We are expecting that by the beginning of this year, for failure to remit those taxes, we will begin to obtain court orders and also bring criminal liability against such individuals and corporate bodies.
“Immediately we do the assessment, if it is a back duty assessment, the law already prescribes the penalty and interest that follow.”
Earlier, the Executive Chairman of EIRS, Chief Oseni Elamah, explained that programme was part of efforts improved compliance with the tax laws, reduce areas of friction and increase areas of cooperation with the MDAs, for prompt payment of taxes.