Authorities of the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) have shut down Protea Hotel in Lagos Island over an allegation bordering on tax invasion.
The company was accused of failing to remit about N11.07 million personal income taxes it deducted from workers’ salaries to the agency.
Also, the LIRS accused Protea Hotel of not paying about N148.88 million consumption and hotel occupancy taxes on June 9 to LIRS’ coffers.
Head of Distrain Unit of LIRS, Mrs Ajibike Oshodi-Sholola, who led the task force to seal the hotel on Wednesday, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that letters were sent to Protea Hotel management, but they failed to respond accordingly.
“Before LIRS gets court order to seal a company, it usually sends at least two letters of notice to the management of the affected firms reminding them of the tax liabilities.
“So, both the demand notice letter and letter of intention to distrain were sent to the management of the hotel, but they failed to act on them,” Mrs Oshodi-Sholola said.
She added that, “It was a difficult task before the management of the hotel, particularly its chairman, [to] accept to leave the hotel for the team to properly seal it.”
Mrs Oshodi-Sholola said the tax liabilities were for 2012 tax audit year.
But Chairman of Protea Hotel, Mr Ajibola Anbisala, denied receiving any notice or letter from LIRS, saying that the team had no authority to just come and seal the hotel. He vowed to sue the agency for the embarrassment.
“We have not received any recent letter from LIRS in respect to the company’s staff personal income tax.
“I am ready to sue LIRS for this insult,” Mr Anbisala said.