Lagos seals Protea Hotel over tax evasion

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The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, LIRS has sealed Protea Hotel, close to Kuramo Waters, over alleged failure to remit N11.07m personal income taxes deducted from workers’ salaries.

Ajibike Oshodi-Sholola, Head, Distrain Unit of LIRS, disclosed this during a statewide tax law enforcement exercise in Lagos on Wednesday.

The Protea Hotel was earlier sealed by the service over evasion of N148.88m consumption and hotel occupancy taxes on June 9.

The hotel broke the seal without LIRS’ consent, payment of the tax liabilities or due resolution of the issue.

Oshodi-Sholola said the tax liabilities were for 2012 tax audit year. “Before LIRS gets court order to seal a company, it usually sends at least two letters of notice to the management of the affected firms reminding them of the tax liabilities.

“So, both the demand notice letter and letter of intention to distrain were sent to the management of the hotel, but they failed to act on them.”

Oshodi-Sholola, who led the enforcement team, said that it took the team over five hours to evacuate the management of the hotel out of the premises.

She said, “It was a difficult task before the management of the hotel, particularly its chairman, to leave the hotel for the team to properly seal it.”

Ajibola Aribisala, the hotel Chairman, denied receiving any notice or letter from LIRS. “We have not received any recent letter from LIRS in respect to the company’s staff personal income tax. I am ready to sue LIRS for this insult.”

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