The Gombe State Internal Revenue Service (GIRS) has sealed branches of Access Bank in the state over N118 million unpaid taxes.
The Executive Chairman of GIRS, Abubakar Inuwa Tata, told newsmen after the exercise that the money was accumulated liability over 10 years as personal income tax of the bank’s employees.
He said the service decided to seal the branches after a 30-day notice issued to the management of Access Bank expired without any form of correspondence from them.
Mr Tata said, “According to the state’s laws, the bank or any tax-paying entity have within 30 days to comply or object with the demand notice if they are comfortable with the amount they are ask to pay. But Access Bank didn’t object, neither did they reply the demand notice.
Instead, the bank took the GIRS to the Tax Appeal Tribunal in Bauchi State and we followed the case to its legal conclusion and the tribunal dismissed the case. And by law after 30 days whatever served to you becomes binding, final and conclusive, which means the bank has no option than to pay the amount of N118m on the demand notice.”
The executive chairman stated that after the expiration of the 30-day notice, the bank blatantly ignored GIRS’s letter, “Therefore, we got a court order to seal the bank, which was approved.”
He explained that the figure was arrived at after-tax investigation of on Pay-as-You-Earn (PAYE) of the bank personnel covering over 10 years.
Tata added that the branches would remain close until the money was paid to the state government in order to have money and provide social services to people living in the state.
He revealed that other banks operating in the state had taken GIRS to courts over issues of tax evasion, saying they would take appropriate action when the cases were determined by the courts.