The Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS) on Thursday, sealed four branches of Fidelity Bank Plc. over N43.3 million tax liabilities.
The branches are located at Ali Akilu Road, Ahmadu Bello Way, Polytechnic Road by Maimuna Gwarzo Junction, and Kachia Road, all in Kaduna metropolis.
Ms Aisha Mohammed, KADIRS Legal Adviser and Board Secretary, told journalists after the exercise in Kaduna, that the branches were closed for allegedly refusing to settle outstanding tax returns of N43.3 million owed for the period 2011 to 2020.
She explained that management of Fidelity Bank was served with notices of the tax assessment five times, but were allegedly ignored.
“Therefore, to claim all tax due to the state, we approached the court and obtained a court order to seal the branches.
“This is provided for in Section 104 (3) and (4) of the Personal Income Tax (Amendment) Act. 2011 and Section 37 (3) and (4) of Kaduna State Tax Codification and Consolidation Law, 2020 as amended,”she said.
The Executive Chairman of the Service, Dr Zaid Abubakar, told newsmen that closing tax defaulting business offices would ensure compliance to relevant provisions of tax laws in the state.
According to him, the measure is part of efforts to encourage voluntary settlement of all tax liabilities by tax payers.
“This is simply telling all defaulting tax payers that no one is above the law. It is either they pay their taxes, or the law will not spare them,” he warned. (NAN)
GreenWhiteGreen GWG reports that the action of the Kaduna State authorities came as federal tax authorities also on Thursday indicated moves to freeze the bank accounts of Nigeria’s dominant direct satellite television (DSTV) operator, Multichoice over alleged accrued tax liabliites running to N1.8 trillion.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS said that Multichoice had refused to open its books for direct assessment and that the N1.8 trillion tax charge was its assessment based on its own computations.
It is not known if Fidelity Bank with is own challenge is among the banks mandated by the FIRS to freeze the Multichoice accounts under the statutory regulations it gave.