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Breaking: Igbo traders, tax officers locked in dispute over PIT in north central Nigerian city

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Igbo traders in Taiwo Road, one of the bubbling commercial heart of Ilorin, north central city capital of Kwara, shut down business activities over closure and arrest of some prominent traders in the state.

Chuppet, one of the cities oldest stores, Ejide and Top Biz proprietors were reportedly taken to tax mobile store by the Kwara Internal Revenue Service, KWIRS on Friday.

Reacting to the news, traders, mainly Igbo, shut down their business bringing commercial activities to nearly a halt in Ilorin.

According to some traders spoken to, there has been cases of arbitrary imposition of taxes by the state government which has been a matter the Igbo Trade Union in Kwara has been trying to iron out.

KWIRS and the traders, as learnt, had an understanding where the state government collect taxes from the traders association on behalf of all its members.

But of late, stated some of the traders, the state’s tax office insisted on a different format that makes every trader account for his or her taxes.

Though KWIRS is yet to speak to DDM as at the time of writing the report, a back channel source in the agency explained that the matter had to do with personal income tax, PIT.

“Chupet and Top Bliz have been hiding under association and paying minimal amount as PIT.

“We had for years told them that they cannot be assessed like that and written severally and meetings too.

“They were also notified of the mobile court coming up today on the same matter.

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“None was arrested by us.

“They closed down voluntarily and deliberately because of the fear that the mobile court may come to them.

“The mobile court attended to only two cases of recalcitrant traders who have refused to pay their taxes.

“The mobile court sitting lasted for about two hours and judgments went in favor of the service.

“The court ordered the shops of the two traders to be sealed up until they fulfill their tax obligation. No arrest was made.

“The police that were present were court officials to protect the Revenue Judges and other court officers while the Court was sitting,” the back channel source said.

 


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