Evade tax, lose access to public services

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… Edo governor insists on tax certificate as precondition for commercial transactions

IN Nigeria’s South South state of Edo, government is prepared to deny citizens access to public services and commercial activities unless they present evidence of tax payment. Governor Godwin Obasek, in May, said that possession of Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) would be precondition for accessing public services and some commercial transactions.

Executive Chairman, Edo State Internal Revenue (EIRS), Igbinidu Inneh, on behalf of the State Government, said that the measure was taken to ensure that taxable citizens met their civic duties.

He charged Federal and State Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (F&SMDAs), Local Government Councils, Commercial Banks, as well as companies and enterprises operating in Edo State to demand from individuals, verifiable tax clearance certificate with regards to application for MDA approvals and licenses, foreign exchange control permission to remit funds outside Nigeria, and distributorship of goods and services.

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Inneh, in a statement made available to Prime Business Africa, added that the demand for TCC, covering three preceding years was in line with Section 85 of the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) as amended.

The statement urged all concerned to ensure strict compliance, as failure to comply would put the affected organisation at the risk of being fined N5million or three years imprisonment or both, on conviction.

Prime Business Africa recalls that the state government had embarked on a comprehensive campaign to name-and-shame firms and high-net worth individuals who were defaulting in tax obligations. Up to 150 firms have been sanctioned since the commencement of the exercise, as officials visit more business premises to implement the name-and-shame directive.

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