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Kaduna Government seals Keystone Bank, FCMB over N295m tax debts

KDIRS Enforcement officials during the exercise

Isola Moses

The Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KDIRS) has sealed off the premises of the Keystone Bank and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Plc, in Kaduna, over purported unpaid taxes.

Agency report indicates Dr. Zaid Abubakar, Executive Chairman of KDIRS, disclosed this to journalists Tuesday, January 14, in Kaduna, that the banks owed the state government to the tune of N294.85million.

Dr. Abubakar said that the amount accumulated from unpaid Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) and withholding tax since 2007.

According to him, Keystone Bank owed unpaid taxes amounting to N222.8million between 2007 and 2018, while FCMB Plc owed more than N72million from 2007 to 2016.

“When you put these together, the total liabilities amounted to N294.85million, which we want them to pay.

“We carried out the tax audit along with the banks officials, sent them our report, assessment and demand notices,” he stated.

The KDIRS Executive Chairman said the Service also wrote to the Managements of the banks several times, “but they refused to come for reconciliation and failed to respond to our demand notices.”

“Therefore, we had no option but to seal off the branches according to relevant tax laws,’’ Abubakar declared.

The report added that Mr. Ado Garba, Head of Enforcement Unit of KDIRS, said that sealing of the banks’ premises was to ensure compliance with the relevant tax laws.

The banks’ branches would be reopened as soon as they pay the taxes, Mr. Garba said.

According to him, the affected backs are equally expected to pay N250, 000 each, being the cost incurred to enforce the law.

Mr. Frances Kozah, Secretary and Legal Adviser, KDIRS, also said that the banks had a 14-day window to remit all the tax liabilities.

“If they fail to comply, the agency would take the next step to ensure compliance,” he Mr. Kozah submitted.

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