By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
Oyo State Government is to start immediate prosecution of tax evaders and offenders in and across the 33 local government areas of the state as from next Wednesday.
The Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Internal Revenue Service (OYIRS), Mr. Biyi Oloko who stated this in Ibadan while speaking with journalists disclosed that already, the state Internal Revenue Service has put in place a data bank on tax defaulters, and that OYIRS will soon embark on an enforcement and prosecution drive that will take full advantage of the provisions of the tax laws to apprehend and prosecute tax defaulters.
“The Oyo State government through the Oyo State Internal Revenue Service (OYIRS), has put all the necessary machineries in place to ensure the enforcement of the tax laws and wishes to advise all erring tax payers to comply forthwith and ensure immediate payment of any outstanding taxes, fines and levies. The full weight of the law will be brought to bear on taxable persons who fail to comply,” he said.
He stressed that the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice will through a Rapid Tax Prosecution Process, commence prosecution of tax defaulters in the state without further notice, saying that Oyo state government has set up a joint enforcement team with the local government in order to ensure a harmonised approach to the enforcement of the tax laws of both the state and local government.
The Special Adviser pointed out that as a way of blocking leakage in the revenue collection, Oyo state government has adopted electronic collection of revenues using POS machines at all revenue points in the state, asking all tax payers not to make any cash payments to any individual other than directly into the designated revenue accounts in any of the collecting banks.
“The administration of Senator Abiola Ajimobi, wishes to state that without revenue, all of those things that facilitate the progress, advancement and development of Oyo State will not be realised, for example, infrastructural developments like roads to ensure access to business sites, if the people of Oyo State do not have all the services that government is compelled to offer such as security, education and healthcare etc. then we cannot make progress and develop collectively”, he said.
Emphasizing that OYIRS has embarked on various advocacy and enlightenment programmes on the need to pay their taxes as at when due, Mr Oloko stated that “OYIRS has met with NURTW, informal sector associations including markets women and men, mechanics, and artisans. We have also met with MAN, Organised Private Sector, professional bodies such as lawyers, accountants and surveyors.
“We also wish to add that the tax types are as follows: Pay As You Earn (PAYE), DIRECT TAXATION, Withholding taxes for individuals, Capital Gains Tax for individuals, Stamp duties on instruments executed by individuals, Road tax, Business Premises Registration, Development lev for individuals, Right of Occupancy fees on lands owned by State Government, Land Use Charges”.