Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Anambra State Internal Revenue Service has said that it doesn’t intend to close offices of corporate citizens doing business in the state but the agency won’t hesitate to enforce court orders to recover government revenue from tax defaulting institutions.
This is coming on the heels of the closure of all branches of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) operating in Anambra state over an established 2.9 billion naira unpaid tax arrears to the state government, as established by the State High Court of Justice.
The Chairman and Chief Executive of the Anambra State Internal Revenue Service Dr. David Nzekwu who spoke with the reporter in Awka, said the agency was a responsible organization but would not spare institutions that failed to comply with tax laws.
Nzekwu said the agency in its revenue drive, might seal more institutions not complying with tax obligations as government required the resources for the provision of basic social amenities and infrastructure for the betterment of all and sundry.
The agency’s boss also disclosed that recently the revenue agency executed an order that was issued by the court asking the agency to take steps to recover unremitted taxes owed to the Anambra state government by UBA which according to him was established at N6.9 billion.
He said that apart from UBA, there are a number of organisations still not complying with the provisions of the tax laws. Although he took cognisance of the fact that in spite of the magnitude of tax default in the state, there are still some level of improvement in tax compliance stressing that it is the responsibility of the agency to assist every individual to pay their taxes.
Furthermore, the revenue agency’s helmsman noted that it is equally the responsibility of every tax payer to pay tax as the law demands, thereby appealing to organisations doing business in Anambra state to register with the tax authority and ensure compliance with tax laws.
He however stated that the agency understands the impact the closure of UBA branches in Anambra may likely have on its customers but it is also expected that UBA should pay the money that has been established by the court that they owe the state government which is 6.9 billion naira for the period of 2006 to 2011 so that the offices will be re-opened again for business.
Meanwhile, efforts to get the views of officials of the bank at one of its branches on Zik Avenue Awka proved abortive as security operatives hindered access.