34 business organisations have been closed by the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) for neglecting to submit their employees' personal income taxes and for not sending the consumption taxes that hotel industry operators owe to the Lagos State Government.

Among the companies are NTS Nigeria Ltd., Med-In Hospital & Pharma Services Ltd., Danvic Petroleum Int'l Ltd., Business Intelligence Technology, Avaya Nigeria Ltd., Gladstone Tech Ltd., Courier Plus Services Ltd., Kurioucity Ltd., Medilag Ventures Ltd., Future Oilfields, and Seven Six & Ten Limited, according to a release from Monsurat Amasa-Oyelude, Head, Corporate Communications, LIRS.

In addition, 23 hotels, restaurants, and event venues were shut down for neglecting to collect and submit consumption taxes during the same operation.

The companies are Bereans Venture (Tantalizer Ebute Metta), Blitz Suites & Hotel, Offshoroomz Hotel, God's Grace Hotel, De Orange Place Ltd., De Santos Hotel, Kentade Hotel Limited, Chamcee, Chelsea Suites, Falode Hotels, High Climax Hotel, Chez Moi Apartment, Excellence Hotel, La Avril Hotel & Suites, De Orange Place Ltd., Milaco Guest House, New World Inn, Model Motels Ltd, Rely Maritime Ltd., 4 Seasons Hotel, Dream Land Hotel, 343 North Restaurant and Lounge, and Jade Palace Chinese Restaurant.

This statement was delivered on Monday in Lagos during a state-wide tax law enforcement action by the Service, by Mr Seyi Alade, Director of Legal Services LIRS.

According to Alade, these businesses and the hotels' combined tax obligations exceeded N356.12 million.

He said that the State Government had lost money as a result of their conduct.

Alade clarified that to encourage taxpayers to comply voluntarily, the Agency has already scaled back its enforcement efforts.

However, some businesses and lodging establishments made the decision to evade taxes. Consequently, the Service has stepped up its enforcement efforts, focusing on these businesses as well as eateries, lodging facilities, and event venues," he stated.

He underlined that the main objective is to ensure that consumption and personal income taxes are remitted in a way that allows the Lagos State Government to implement programmes meant to improve the lives of the state's enormous population.

Alade went on to say, "These companies charge consumption taxes on goods and services that customers purchase, and they deduct personal income taxes from their employees' salaries at the end of each month."

“Unfortunately, some unpatriotic firms choose to withhold these payments, illegally converting the funds for their own use.”

He warned that failing to file tax returns or engaging in tax evasion would be considered criminal offences that might result in financial penalties and, in some cases, custodial sentences upon conviction.

Alade said the Agency is currently prosecuting some High-net-worth individuals and companies that failed to file their Returns.

He said courts had issued Bench Warrants for some taxpayers in this category and that three arrests had been made under these Warrants.

“They are Platinum Apartments & Suites, The Moonlight Place Enterprises and Jezreel Nursery and Primary School.”

He warned that the enforcement exercise shall be a continuous one and that it shall be visited on all erring companies, hotels, restaurants, and Individuals in the State if they refuse to regularise their tax positions immediately or if they fail to comply with all extant tax laws operational in Lagos State.