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Enugu seals ShopRite, SPAR malls over tax evasion

The Enugu State Internal Revenue Service has sealed Enugu ShopRite and SPAR over non-remittances of purchase tax in their malls to the government.

In a statement issued by the service on Tuesday morning after the enforcement drive, accused the malls and stores affected of refusing to remit withholding purchase taxes despite being served several warning notices.

According to a statement signed by the service spokesperson, Nnamdi Eneh, ESiRS officials also sealed Roban Stores and Mama Onyinye restaurant among others for the same offence.

Eneh said that taxes the government is demanding from the malls, stores and businesses include purchase tax on the goods that the buyers pay whenever they patronise their outlets.

He quoted the ESIRS HOD eateries, bars, hotels, and shopping malls, Perpetual Egwuonwu to have said the agency has visited the sealed malls on several occasions to request the purchase tax but they failed to remit such.

Egwuonwu added they have also pleaded with the concerned individuals to remit their taxes when due, but “have been recalcitrant and till now they have not done anything concerning these instructions.”

“It is worthy of note that after we met with the Roban store they displayed our sticker and have complied with remitting their purchase tax to the IRS. On the other hand, ShopRite has frustrated all our efforts to get them to do the needful.

“It is always one story or another eventually they promised us that before the end of February, they would do something but we are in March and the ESIRS have not heard from them,” she said.

Egwuonwu stressed that the malls would remain closed until the issues at hand were resolved.

Meanwhile, Eneh explained that the agency had gone on air to enlighten and educate the people on the need to remit their taxes.

“Our public enlightenment program has been ongoing for a while now. We have been sensitizing the people and pleading with them to pay their taxes so as not to fall victim during enforcement, but most of them remained adamant.

“The objective here is not to disrupt anybody’s business but since pleading did not work, this is the only way to compel them to do what they are supposed to do.”

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