Lagos seals Protea Hotel

(NAN) The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has sealed Protea Hotel, close to Kuramo Waters, over alleged failure to remit N11.07 million personal income taxes deducted from workers’ salaries.
Ajibike Oshodi-Sholola, Head, Distrain Unit of LIRS, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during a state-wide tax law enforcement exercise in Lagos on Wednesday.
NAN recalls that the same Protea Hotel was sealed by the revenue service over evasion of N148.88 million consumption and hotel occupancy taxes on June 9.
It also recall that the hotel broke the seal without LIRS’s consent, payment of the tax liabilities or due resolution of the issue.
Mrs. Oshodi-Sholola said the tax liabilities were for 2012 tax audit year.
“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,” she said.
Mrs. Oshodi-Sholola, who led the enforcement team, said that it took the team more than five hours to evacuate the management of the hotel out of the premises.
“It was a difficult task before the management of the hotel, particularly its chairman, accepted to leave the hotel for the team to properly seal it,” she said.
Ajibola Anbisala, the hotel Chairman, denied receiving any notice or letter from LIRS, saying that the team had no authority to just come and seal the hotel.
“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,” he said.