Hope Ikwe in Jos
Three state governments- Kogi, Kwara and Benue- have sued corporate organisations operating in their domains as well as individuals for tax evasion.
They filed their cases at the Tax Appeal Tribunal for North Central zone in Jos.
Dangote Flour Mills plc, MTN, Fidelity Bank plc and Obajana Agro Sack Limited are corporate organizations that topped the list of tax evaders brought before the tax court .
Kwara State Government sued Dangote Flour Mills Limited, Benue State sued MTN while Kogi State sued Fidelity Bank Plc and Obajana Agrosacks Limited for defaulting in tax payments which run into hundreds millions of naira.
Chairman of the tax appeal tribunal, Richard Bala who disclosed this at the inaugural sitting of the court in Jos said, “the Tribunal within its jurisdiction shall assess the collection and accounting of revenue accruable to the government of the Federation”, as he urged parties involved to cooperate for the success of the national assignment.
“The Tribunal has commenced sitting in Jos the Plateau State and we are to oversee tax cases from five states including Kwara, Kogi, Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau State as host for the zone” he said .
“The Tax Appeal Tribunal is imbued with powers to adjudicate over disputes arising from “Companies Income Tax Act, CAP. 60 LFN 1990, Personal Income Tax Act No. 104, 1993; Petroleum Profit Tax Act CAP. 354 LFN 1990; Value Added Tax Act No.102,1993 and Capital Gains Tax Act CAP. 42 LFN 1990 as well as any other Laws that may be made from time to time by the National Assembly.”
Chairman of the Plateau State Internal Revenue Service Board, Arlat Dashe said the tribunal would relieve the Board the troubles of collecting income taxes from federal government agencies, state MDAs and private organisations.
He said Plateau State government would take advantage of the tax tribunal in collecting taxes due to it from the evaders. Dashe in an interview with Business a.m said that as a first approach to retrieve taxes from evaders, the board will “engage corporate bodies in dialogue to remit their PAYE and in the event that they fail to do so we enforce the law by prosecuting them”.
For individuals, he said an assessment to ascertain how much is payable by them would be carried out as most individual hardly disclose their income. Afterwards they will be educated on the importance of paying taxes.
The tribunal will commence trial of the defaulting companies 17 December, 2018.