The Gombe State Internal Revenue Service has sealed Access Bank in the state for tax debts of over I18 million naira from the Personal Income Tax of its employees.
Briefing journalists after sealing the two branches of the bank in the Gombe Metropolis, the Administrator of the Gombe State Internal Revenue Service, Mr.
Abubakar Inuwa Tata, said the amount was arrived at after the Back Duty Audit was conducted and records showed that Access Bank had an outstanding balance to pay from the annual piling of the bank from 2008 to 2019.
Tata said the number of staff the bank had and their gross emolument were computed and the evidence showed that their taxes had not been paid within the stipulated timeframe.
He attributed the successes recorded in tracing the tax issues to the amendment of the former tax law in the state, which Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya signed on December 31, 2021.
“His Excellency signed the new law by 31st December 2021 and then we have a new tax law that also created an institution for displaying all adjudicating issues of nonpayment of taxes and levies,” said Mr.
He said as soon as the service receives an alert of payment by the bank, the seals would be removed immediately and the bank would reopen and continue its operations.
He said from the time that the legal tussle began in March 2020 to date, a lot of time was wasted and the value of the money was lost, because the amount, 118 million naira would have been conveniently used to construct a very good hospital and boreholes, but that with the same amount now, the same could not be achieved, due to some factors, such as inflation.
The Administrator of the Gombe State Internal Revenue Service said a demand notice was issued in March 2020 for Access Bank to come and clarify the issues but did not reply in objection or payment.
He said the law stipulated that if a response was not received within 30 days, whatever action was served to the defaulting entity became binding, as well as final and conclusive.
Tata said when the service demanded that they should defend themselves, the bank instead rushed to the Tax Appeal Tribunal in Bauchi, which prompted the Gombe State Internal Revenue Service to equally follow up with its own legal team.
According to him, the tribunal ruled in favour of the service, by dismissing the case by Access Bank and asked the bank to pay the liability, which is over 118 million, 45 thousand, 98 naira, 20 kobo, which was the cumulative total, arrived at after a Back Duty Tax Audit was conducted in 2020, beginning from 2008 to 2019.
Tata said the judgment by the Tax Tribunal was issued on Thursday, February 10, 2022, thereafter, the service sought a Court Order of Disdain to mandate the bank to pay or give the service the right to seal the property.
He called on all taxpaying entities and organisations in Gombe State to comply with the rules set out by the Gombe State Revenue Qualification and Consolidation Law.
“You have the right to object.
What we have put on the Demand Notice is not cast in gold or iron.
It is not a revelation from God.
You can say ‘NO’ you are not paying this amount and these are your reasons.
But you can’t just blatantly ignore, failed to reply, and failed to do anything,” said Mr.
He, therefore, called on the people of Gombe State to understand the tax law, particularly, corporate organisations, so as to avoid the embarrassment of such nature, saying the revenue service still has some pending issues with some banks in court, which signals to all taxpaying entities to comply and be left alone.
Tata announced that the government was in the process of setting up a Revenue Recovery Tribunal to tackle tax issues within Gombe, without going as far as Bauchi.
Voice of Nigeria sought the views of some customers at the bank’s premises, who could not hide their grievances over the sealing of the bank, most of who blame the management for the unfortunate incident.
“This is public embarrassment.
We were in the banking hall and they said we should come out, for what reason? They should talk within themselves and settle everything.
This is Monday and now I don’t have a single kobo in my pocket and I want to use my money, how will I use it.
And maybe from this time, I will never use this bank again.
I will just come and block my account.
Let me just go back to my other account.
Since Saturday I had issues.
I am very embarrassed!” said Mr.
Ibrahim Gambo Dauda.
Abdurrahman Musa is not happy with the development, he said “I came to withdraw my money, because my ATM is not working and I came into the banking hall to apply for a new ATM Card, only to be chased out of the bank.
We were told that the bank was being closed because it was not paying taxes.
This is not acceptable, because every transaction we conduct with from the bank is being charged and monies deducted,” said Mr.
“I am not happy with what has happened.
Even my business can stop.
Someone sent me money for some goods, I wanted to collect the money from the bank and send for the goods.
They deceived me for nothing.
Up to now, I went to the bank, they freeze my account.
I don’t have any bank except this bank.
Each month it deducts N1, 500 as tax.
Now they don’t want to pay their tax.
The solution is that I want to leave the bank.
My call to them is that they should obey the laws of the state government.
Honestly, go and pay the tax.
That is the solution,” said Abubakar Musa.
Gombe Internal Revenue Service seals Access Bank over N118m tax default