KW-IRS debunks ethnicity agenda in its revenue generation drive

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…describes the allegation as ridiculous and unfounded

Kwara State Internal Revenue Service, KW-IRS has described its efforts at ensuring tax compliance in the State as totally devoid of any ethnic motive and described those peddling such claims as mischief makers who do not mean well for the government of Kwara State under the leadership of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

In its bid to ensure compliance, KW-IRS on Friday conducted mobile court within some business premises in Ilorin to prosecute some recalcitrant high net-worth tax defaulters, who were hiding under the umbrella of associations to pay lower taxes than what is due, thereby shortchanging the government.

But no sooner had the exercise been concluded than a group that described itself as Kwara Igbo Traders Association, KWIATA, stormed the media space to make the false claim that the exercise was targeted at Igbo traders.

Discreet investigations however showed that nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed the culprits with tax liabilities running into millions are businesses owned by residents of different ethnic backgrounds in the State.

Said a source at KW-IRS: “The false and emotional outbursts by a so-called Kwara Igbo Traders Association, to the effect that some ethnicity was targeted and singled out for harassment, is not only unfounded but ridiculous. No one will hide under the umbrella of an association to shortchange the government or to blackmail it. Those who were found guilty on Friday had been given enough warnings and prevailed upon to discharge their civic duties to no avail. To now resort to ethnic sentiments is wrong- headed.

Indeed, findings showed that tax defaulters, who have consistently underpaid or refused to pay their taxes were given several reminders and persuaded by the Service to discharge their civic duties before the Friday mobile court trial.

A statement by the Legal Unit of the Service put a lie to the claim of ethnic motive in the discharge of the statutory duties of KW-IRS, reiterating that tax assessment and payment by groups or associations is not acceptable by law as already published by the Service on all its social media platforms on 9th of May, 2023.

The Unit said: “Following several attempts which later proved abortive to recover these outstanding liabilities, a letter of notice of intention to prosecute was served on these taxpayers, wherein they were given a 3-day ultimatum to defray their tax liabilities or a mobile revenue court would be constituted within their business premises. Notwithstanding this warning, these taxpayers still failed to liquidate their tax liability or show any sign of commitment; hence a mobile court was constituted by the Service at taxpayers’ premises as promised.”

The sealing of the business premises of the affected business owners complied with the judgment of the mobile court.

The Service enjoined the taxpayers to be law-abiding by paying their taxes as and when due and also noted that its activities are not targeted at any tribe nor is it to disrupt business activities within the State.

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