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Lagos opens special courts for tax evaders


tax-evasion-300x225• State’s IGR hits N24.5b a month
The Lagos State government yesterday reeled out new reforms on tax collections in the state, with emphasis on special courts that will now prosecute both tax evaders and defaulters.

The state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem, told reporters yesterday that the state government introduced the reforms on enforcement by setting up new Rapid Tax Prosecution Unit and the Revenue Court in view of the extreme financial downturn and the need to improve the IGR.

He said the administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had put in place necessary measures to end the era of tax evasion and indeed tax avoidance in the state, adding that tax evaders would be aggressively pursued in line with the provisions of the law.

According to him: “Prosecution and jail-term for defaulting tax-payers will be a tool that we will be actively used to ensure full compliance. Tax officers, I understand, will be very aggressive in their collection of taxes and the public is hereby advised to co-operate with them because obstruction of these tax officers in their lawful duty can and will lead to prosecution.

“Tax dodgers should watch out because the long arm of the law will eventually reach you. All tax-payers are also reminded that giving false information is also an offence and can be used in the prosecution of your tax default. If you pay your taxes regularly, you will have no problem.”

Meanwhile, the Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR) in the state for the month of January was N24.5 billion, being the highest ever recorded in the state.

Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Mustapha Akinkunmi, disclosed that the state generated at least N24.5 billion from IGR in the month of January 2016 in line with the administration’s reform on tax system and the paying culture.

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