Court Seals Hotel, Hospitals On Tax Evasion

On the orders of the Abia State High Court, Umuahia, the premises of two hospitals based in Umuahia and a hotel based in Aba were have been sealed and their business activities suspended.

The sealed premises were those of Life Essential Hospital and Marantha Hospital both in Umuahia and Lakeshore Hotels and Suite Ltd in Aba.

They were said to have failed to remit the sum of N13, 174,663.92, N13, 174,663.93 and N9, 841,914 respectively to the Abia State Revenue Service as PAYEE agents made the orders in the suits brought against the defendants individually by the state board of internal revenue.

Justice Wogu ruled that the trio failed to remit on demand when the said sums of money became due to the State Revenue Service within the time limited by the demand as PAYEE tax Agents.

“And that it has been proved on oath that the PAYEE Tax audit report and demand notice have been duly served on the defendants aforesaid in accordance with the Abia State Board of Internal Revenue Law No 7 of 2008 and the remittance was not made,” the judge held.

About twenty such sealing of premises of banks, factories, commercial houses, hotels, Electricity Distribution Companies, Education and Research Institutions etc had been effected in the past.

Chairman of the state BIR Mr Ugochukwu Ogbonna warned tax defaulters to fulfill their statutory obligations with respect to paying legitimate taxes and levies or risk being prosecuted and having their business premises sealed if the court so orders.

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