FCT-IRS seals school, hotel, others over tax evasion

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By Philip Yatai

The Federal Capital Territory Internal Revenue Service (FCT-IRS) has sealed Residency Hotels, a school and three business premises in the capital city for tax evasion.

The FCT-IRS acting Director, Legal Services, Mr Festus Tsavsar, who led the enforcement team, explained that the closure of the premises was in line with a Court Order obtained by the IRS.

The school and business premises are Deo Gratias International School, Rural and Urban Homes Ltd, Trevari International Company and Phenomenon International Company.

Tsavsar explained that the hotel and businesses premises contravened FCT tax laws by refusing to file their annual returns, in spite of issuing several notices, including a court summons.

“Today we went out to execute the Court Orders, which ordered the FCT-IRS to seal off the premises of defaulting taxpayers that were brought before it.

“We have been able to effectively comply with the court order by sealing off the premises as directed.

“We went to Deo Gratias International School located in Games Village, Kaura, and sealed it off.

“The offence they committed was refusal to file their annual returns in spite of many notices, including a Court Summon but the school management refused to comply.

“We are at their premises and the management refused to attend to us; and refused to open their doors, in spite of many calls for them to do so to enable us to enforce the court order,” he said.

Officials of FCT-IRS sealing off Gratias International School, who allegedly changed its name to DGIS College in Games Village for tax evasion in Abuja on Thursday.

He expressed concern over the continued refusal by the school’s management to comply with the tax law.

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According to him, the action is simply tax evasion which is a criminal offence.

He added that to worsen the case, the management had changed their name to DGIS College to evade tax payment.

“This is also a criminal offence.

“The school has not been paying their taxes at all and also refused to file their annual returns since establishment,” he said.

From the school, the team proceeded to Residency Hotels, No. 4, Port Harcourt Crescent, Area II, Garki, where it was also sealed for not filing annual returns.

“From there we went to seal off Rural Urban Homes ltd in Utako and two business premises residing in Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, namely Trevari International Company and Phenomenon International Company,” Tsavsar said.

He warned the affected business owners against any attempt to unseal the premises and advised them to go to the court to obtain a court order before they could do so.

“If they go against the Court Order and unsealed the premises by themselves, they have committed a criminal offence, and the court will order their arrest.

“They will be prosecuted in line with the tax law, particularly Section 81 of Personal Income Tax Law and upon conviction they will be jailed for six months in addition to a fine,” he added.

Tsavsar equally warned that FCT-IRS would go after all tax defaulting companies and individuals, and advised taxpayers to comply with existing tax laws, pay their taxes and file their annual returns. (NAN)

Edited by Abiemwense Moru

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