Oyo To Enforce Tax Payment, Defaulters To Be Fined, Jailed

The Board of Internal Revenue Service in Oyo State has inaugurated a team to comb the 33 local government areas of the state for the enforcement of tax payment, with warnings that defaulters risk jail terms, fines or both. For growth in education, health and other social services to be sustained, the government called on the citizens to support its revenue generation drive through payment of taxes and levies. The Special Adviser to the Governor, Board of Internal Revenue, Mr Biyi Oloko, stated this at a press conference heralding the tax generation drive of the board, in Ibadan, on Thursday.

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Beginning from August 17, this year, he said that the state would embark on aggressive enforcement of payment of taxes, fines and levies, warning that defaulters risk prosecution.

Oloko said, “The state government through the Internal Revenue Service, has put all the necessary machineries in place to ensure the enforcement of the tax laws and wishes to advise all tax defaulters to comply forthwith.

“All eligible tax payers should ensure immediate payment of all outstanding taxes, fines and levies, because the full weight of the law will be brought to bear on taxable persons who fail to comply.

“Without payment of dues, all the things that will facilitate the progress, advancement and development of Oyo State will not be realized. By this, I mean good roads to ensure access to business sites; provision of security, education and healthcare, among others. “

Already, he said that the board had collated data on tax defaulters and would move against them without further notification anytime from August 17.

Listed among taxes due for collection were Pay As You Earn (PAYE), direct taxation, withholding tax for individuals, capital gains tax for individuals, stamp duties on instruments executed by individuals, road tax and business premises registration.

Others were development levy for individuals, right of occupancy fees on lands owned by state government and land use charges.

Oloko went further to say that the office of the state’s attorney-general and commissioner for justice would through a Rapid Tax Prosecution Process, commence prosecution of tax defaulters in the state without further notice commencing from next Wednesday.

In the furtherance of the enforcement drive, he explained that the state had set up a joint enforcement team in the 33 local government areas of the state, which would harmonize the state and LG tax laws.

He said that the BIR had embarked on extensive advocacy and enlightenment programmes to engage and educate stakeholders on the essence of paying their taxes.

Similarly, he said that citizens were being sensitized on the possibility of paying their dues through the adopted Point of Sales electronic platform (POS) at all revenue points and designated revenue accounts at any of the collecting banks, to forestall leakages in revenue collection.

Oloko added, “In order to block leakages in revenue collection, the state government has adopted electronic collection of revenues at all revenue centers in the state.

“Furthermore, the government urges all tax payers not to make cash payment to any individual, but to pay directly into the designated revenue accounts in any of the collecting banks. It is important to note that all tax will be liable to payment of fine or imprisonment if found guilty upon prosecution.”

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