The Cross River Internal Revenue Service has embarked on the closure of business premises in Calabar over tax evasion.
The head of informal sector in the Cross River Internal Revenue Service, Denis Usibe, said the exercise was due to failure by the owners of the businesses to pay their Personal Income Tax and PAYE, for 2012 and 2013.
He noted that the payment of tax is a civic responsibility but expressed disappointment that in spite of the government’s campaigns through the media on the need for people to pay their taxes, some people still chose to remain recalcitrant.
“We have tried to wear a human face in tax enforcement; we are in November 2013; yet, some people have not paid taxes for 2012. We have entered into dialogue with various traders’ associations; nevertheless, there is no improvement,” he said.
Mike Igbo, the head of communication of the agency, said that a task force had been set up to educate the people on their civic responsibilities and monitor tax payment across the state.
He said that the exercise would be carried out in all the major towns of the state, including Obudu, Ikom, Ugep and Ogoja.
“The exercise is to invigorate the process of tax collection and generation of revenue for the state. People have started complying by coming to the IRS office to pay,” he said.
Some of those affected lamented that the tax being imposed on them was too high and, hence the reason why they are unable to comply with the directive.