EKSG debunks double taxation claims on the Fayose Market.

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Ogunmilade

 

 

The Chairman, Ekiti State Internal Revenue Service, Mr Olumuyiwa
Ogunmilade said the board never demanded that the tenants of the shops
in the market popularly known as Fayose Market, should pay between
N20,000 and N300,000.

Mr Ogunmilade described these claims as untrue. He said the market
houses over 300 shops and more than one thousand ‘tenants’ yet little
or no taxes have been paid into the state’s coffers since inception of
the Fayemi Administration.

He made it clear that the practice in most markets, where the
association pays a token annually as taxes on behalf of the market, is
not only inaccurate for government to know who pays and who does not
pay but also gives room for such associations to shortchange the
government since there is no transparency on how much is collected
from each shop or tenant.

Mr Ogunmilade stressed that the Tax Law states that only individuals
or corporate organizations must pay taxes and there is no law that
empowers associations to pay taxes on behalf of its members.

The Chairman stated that the Ekiti State Internal Revenue Service
(EKIRS) held initial talks with the executives of the market on the
need to regularize tax payment with Fayose Market Association in May
2019 after which EKIRS explained the need to carry out an enumeration
exercise to determine taxable assets and persons, which the
association agreed to and was carried out after which various amounts
were issued to the shops based on the estimated value of stock and
transactions determined by on-the-spot evaluation.

Ogunmilade said “The right to object to the assessment within 30 days
of receipt is clearly stated on the demand notice. (Meaning they can
object or pay within 30 days of issuance). They got the Assessment
form and didn’t raise any objection but refused to pay within 30 days
as stipulated in the form.

When EKIRS threatened to proceed against them, they resumed dialogue.
At one of the meetings, EKIRS agreed on a minimum concession of N5,
000 (five thousand naira) per annum per shop. The Association insisted
this was still too much.

They wanted to pay 2, 000 but the government is asking for N5, 000
naira only per annum which it believes is not too much for shop owners
and tenants in Fayose Market. Five thousand naira per annum is just
N416 (Four hundred and sixteen) naira per month. That is just N16
(sixteen naira) per day! Is that too much to pay as taxes in a market
where business transactions of millions of naira are conducted daily?

The refusal to pay N5, 000 per annum per shop is what led to the EKIRS
Enforcement Action on Friday December 13th at Fayose Market, Ado
Ekiti. All other narratives are falsehood and propaganda to distract
the people’s goodwill and attention from the Fayemi administration’s
efforts to make Ekiti work for every citizen.

Government Agencies have the responsibility to enforce the law
especially if dialogue fails. Every individual or corporate citizen
has the responsibility to pay accurate taxes as at when due. That is
the law.

The private and informal sector of the economy must be captured in the
tax net because they benefit from facilities like schools, hospitals,
roads, markets and all other social infrastructure projects built and
maintained by tax payers’ money.

Salary earners in Ekiti State pay more than 80% of the tax income of
the State yet they are less than 1% of the population. Is that fair?
Are they the only ones earning an income? Some traders and shop owners
in Fayose market make in one week, what a civil servant earns in one
month! Yet they are resistant to pay their fair share of taxes to
government.

Since the enforcement, the association has collected over N500, 000
(Five Hundred Thousand Naira) in less than 24hours but EKIRS insisted
they should make it N1m. After much intervention from various
quarters, the market has been reopened with the assurance that shop
owners will pay up the N5000 per annum tax per shop. They have since
promised to cooperate with the Internal Revenue Board to be good
citizens and comply.”

Mr Ogunmilade observed that the Association also collects various
levies from traders and customers daily for every car parked in the
market premises, gets charged between N100 & N200 depending on the
brand but nothing is remitted into the state’s coffers.

He reiterated the commitment of the Fayemi led administration towards
ensuring a better life for all by providing an enabling environment
for everyone in the State.

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