Tax Evasion: Kano govt shuts 3 Zenith Bank branches over N423m debt

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The Kano State Internal Revenue Services (KIRS) on Monday sealed three branches of Zenith bank in Kano over non-payment of N423m personal income tax. The Executive Chairman of KIRS, Alhaji Sani Abdulqadir Dambo, said the Service acted in line with Section 104 of the Personal Income Tax Act, 2011 (as amended).

He added that the affected branches were the regional branch along Murtala Muhammad way and two other branches along Bello road and Zoo road respectively.

The chairman explained that the problem accumulated since 2014/2015, when the bank was audited and a liability of N83m was established.

“When we established that liability, we dispatched a demand notice to the bank and they responded within the stipulated period by paying only the undisputed amount which we had to sit down and review their response but we found it to be flimsy, baseless and untenable.

“Because we found it untenable we had to sit for a revised assessment which we also dispatched to the bank but up till today, there is no any response from them,” he said.

He further explained that in 2017 another liability of N145m was established on the bank, and in 2018 another tax audit was conducted jointly with FIRS and a liability of N195m was again established and that brought the total outstanding tax on the bank to the tune of N423m.

“We dispatched all the demand notices and the bank replied with excuses which we found baseless again, and we tried to reconcile with them, we contacted the auditors, IJEWERE & Co, but all to no avail.

“So our last resort is enforcement through the appropriate procedure in which we wrote to the Chief Judge of the state who directed one of the judges to review the case and eventually gave an order to restrain their branches.

The chairman said the state had a lot of financial issues, such as the implementation of the new minimum wage and the free compulsory and basic education to deal with, hence would not fold its arms and allow erring institutions to get away with it.

Mr Dambo said Justice Ibrahim Umar of High Court No. 13, Miller Road gave the order adding that the bank had two options of either immediate payment of the outstanding tax or to appeal the decision of the court

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