FIRS sues firm over alleged $97m tax evasion

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has taken the Midwestern Oil and Gas Company  Limited to a Federal High Court, Lagos over failure to pay  the outstanding tax liability due to the Federal government  in the sum of $97,086,985.

In an affidavit sworn to by a legal practitioner from the law firm of DAC legal practitioners, Mr Ayodeji Jolaoso, and filed before the court by Dapo Akinosun, the deponent averred that, as normal obligatory routine, Mid Midwestern Oil and Gas company  filed its self-assessment notice for the year 2012-2013 which was delivered to the plaintiffs showing that it made a profit of $271,857,000 and $173,613,950 in the two years. But FIRS verified the claim by the company 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, issued and served a notice of assessment dated January 29, 2015 and  demanded notice 11th April, 2018, indicating the outstanding tax liability of the company covering Petroleum ta and educational tax. The break down of the outstanding tax liability of the company are as follows: Petroleum profit tax liability for the year 2012 is $65,065,644.00; petroleum profit tax liability for year 2013 is $28,024,364; Education tax liability for the year 2012 is $2,436,340 and 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 Federal Government 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 an 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 September 19 ,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 a 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 filed any defence. Meanwhile the case has been adjourned till after court vacation for hearing.


Source: Guardian