Failure to pay $97m tax: Midwestern Oil and Gas Company dragged to court

Failure of Midwestern Oil and Gas Company Limited to pay the outstanding tax liability due to the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the sum of $97,086,985.00.has prompted the Federal Inland Revenue Service to drag the company before a Federal high court in Lagos south west Nigeria.

In an affidavit sworn to by Mr Ayodeji Jolaoso, a legal practitioner from the law firm of DAC legal practitioners, and filed before the court by Barrister Dapo Akinosun, the deponent averred that, as normal obligatory routine, Mid Midwestern Oil and Gas company filed its assessment notice for the year 2012-2013 which was delivered to the Plaintiffs showing that it made profit of $271.9 million and $173.6 million in the two years Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) verified the company’s claim in its self assessment and discovered that the defendant did not pay any amount as its Petroleum Tax and Educational Tax for the year 2012 and 2013 respectively. FIRS thereafter assessed the company based on its declared profit for the year 2012 and 2013. It issued and served a notice of assessment dated 29th January, 2015 and demand notice 11th April, 2018.indicating the outstanding tax liability of the company covering Petroleum tax and educational tax. The break down of the outstanding tax liability of the company are as follows

1. Petroleum profit tax liability for the year 2012 is $65,065,644.00

2.Petroleum profit tax liability for year 2013 is $28,024,364.

iii Education tax liability for year 2012 is $2,436,340.

iv Education tax liability for year 2013 is $1,565,638.00

The total amount of the outstanding tax liability of the company due to the Government of the Federation from the taxes stated above is $97.086,985.00 The company did not raise any formal objection to the assessment and has since refused to pay the outstanding debt. The Plaintiff instructed its solicitor who wrote a letter further reminding the company of the demand for remittance of the outstanding tax liability. In attempt to settle this matter amicably, the plaintiff’s solicitor also invited the defendant to a meeting to discuss the payment of the outstanding tax liabilities highlighted above and other issues arising therefrom by a letter dated 19thSeptember,2018. The defendant has refused and neglected to pay its outstanding tax liabilities as assessed by the plaintiff despite all attempts made by the FIRS to ensure the remittance of the company’s Petroleum Profit Tax and Education Tax for the years for the years 2012 and 2013. Consequently, the FIRS,is urging the court to direct Midwestern Oil to pay its outstanding tax liability arising from the Petroleum profit tax, and Education tax assessed in the sum of $97,086,985.00. FIRS is also praying the court to direct the company to pay penalty of N10,000.00 daily as consequence of late payment of the tax due from 1st February, 2015.till the date its tax liabilities are remitted as prescribed by section 51(1) of the Petroleum. Profit Tax Act (PPTA) cap P13,Law of the Federation 2004 and Education Tax Act. CapE4,Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004. Midwestern Oil and Gas Company has not file any defence. meanwhile the case has been adjourned till after court vacation for hearing.


Source: the news