NTA Calabar sealed over alleged N42.5m tax default

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By Salimot Bello

Cross River Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday sealed the premises of the Nigerian Television Authority, Channel 9 Calabar, for allegedly evading tax amounting to N42.5m from 2006 to 2012 on court order.

Assistant Director in state’s IRS, Ata Emmanuel said the state action was as a result of a court order NO. RCT/MSC./6/2014, to seal the NTA premises, came from Cross River Chief Judge, Justice Okoi Itam.

The warrant issued by Attan, odered the Calabar NTA premises to be sealed for evading tax.

The warant revealed that the N42.5m owed the state by NTA Calabar represented, “outstanding tax liability payable by the Respondent to the Applicant under the PAYE deductions, and development levy for the period of 2006-2011.”

Reacting to the IRS action, the station General Manager,  Mr. Gbolahan Somuyiwa, said the exercise had largely embarrassed the management of the Federal Government-owned news organisation.

He said, “The issue at stake has to do with tax liability. There were reconciliations, dialogue between us and the IRS and it came down to a particular amount. Actually the NTA headquarters had intervened in this matter.

“I do not know why it came to this when 48 IRS personnel and eight armed policemen came to shut down our operations. It amounts to bravado which was not necessary.”

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