The Osun State Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday sealed off four new generation banks located in Osogbo, for failing to pay taxes totaling N72million.
The affected banks are Diamond Bank Plc, First City Monument Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and Fidelity Bank plc.
It was gathered that the officials of the tax agency escorted by heavily armed security operatives, stormed the banks around 10am on Wednesday, ordered bankers and their customers to vacate the banks’ premises before locking them up.
The four banks were said to have failed to remit the withholding tax due to the state government’s coffers.
Addressing journalists after the seal off exercise, the Acting Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Osun Internal Revenue Service, Mr Bicci Ali, said the banks owed the sum of N72,932,717.72 between 2012 and 2014.
The action, according to Ali, was intended to give a bite to the financial institution’s non-compliance to remit all the outstanding taxes due, to the state government.
Defending the agency’s action, Ali said, “Our exercise is in accordance to the provisions of Section 104 of the Personal Income Tax Act 2004 LFN (as amended in 2011),” stressing that the banks would not be reopened for business until all yet-to-be-remitted taxes were paid to the state government’s purse.
Ali explained further that OIRS had intensified advocacy, publicity and enlightenment programmes on the statutory obligations of the citizenry to voluntary compliance with tax and payment of other levies.
“In spite of our efforts, many corporate organisations and individuals still engage in several violations. Under the Tax Act, a taxable person is statutorily required to file a return of income tax for the preceding year at the expiration of 90 days from the commencement of every year of assessment, a taxable person or corporate organisations who have not filed their tax returns with OIRS by the stipulated date is in breach of the provisions of the law, which is an offence that is punishable under the tax laws,” he said.