• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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Anambra residents groan over new tax regime

Umunnem Ndi Anambra: We MUST pay our taxes

Residents of Anambra State have complained of notifications they have received from the state government urging them to pay “outrageous” taxes .

They said it was too early for the state governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, to introduce a tax regime that would further worsen the yoke in the prevailing economic circumstances.

Soludo was sworn in as the 6th executive governor of the state on March 17.

A media practitioner based in Lagos, Fred Chukwuelobe said he received such tax notification with utmost surprise, stating that had no business in Anambra State to warrant him being taxed.

The message sent to him by the state government read, “Dear Fred, you’re in default of remitting NGN 175,112.02 as Personal Income Tax for 2021 to ANSG. Pay now to avoid further penalties”.

Reacting, Chukwuelobe said, “the above platform has been demanding personal income tax from me from the Anambra State Government.

“See the latest warning I got from the platform. I don’t know what it means and how they came about the humongous sum as Personal Income Tax for poor me.

“I live in Lagos and I am not in default in my PAYE. Why is Anambra State demanding another tax from me when I don’t live in the state nor make a living there?Please who knows about this? Is it real?

Another resident who gave his name simply as Jude said he received a similar message asking him to pay his tax or face sanctions. Jude’s notification read,”Dear JUDE, you’re in default of remitting NGN 175,103.97 as Personal Income Tax for 2021 to ANSG. Pay now to avoid further penalties”

Another resident showed our correspondent his notification thus “Dear VINCENT, you’re in default of remitting NGN 175,078.58 as Personal Income Tax for 2021 to ANSG. Pay now to avoid further penalties.

Vincent added, “Can you people imagine this text I received. Am I a contractor? My PAYE is deducted at source. Or is it the implementation of the new policy that journalists must pay tax?

Reacting, a resident said,” E don set ooo. Soludo has come. No escape for anybody”

A resident who condemned the development said,”They are even sending the demand notice to pensioners,who have retired from public service ,hence showing the ridiculous nature of their action.

Read also:  Tax process in Lagos digitised to ease filing, payments – Akande

“They should know that Personal Income Tax is governed by law and it’s not what you just wake up and start demanding from people. You don’t know their tax status and level of income.Some people are not liable to pay personal income tax and there are those whose income is not taxable,due to its low/poor nature.

Reacting to the development, the deputy director/head, Taxpayer Education and Enlightenment Team, of the Anambra Internal Revenue Service, Sylvia Tochukwu-Ngige, acknowledged that the notifications emanated from the government.

She urged those who received such tax notifications not to ignore it to avoid grave consequences.

She said,” Those who got such messages should come to the Anambra Internal Revenue Service in Awka for clarification in their own interests. To ignore such a message may be catastrophic in future.

The Anambra State Internal Revenue Service had in the commencement of the Soludo Government said it would begin aggressive enforcement of payment of outstanding tax bills in the state from April 1.

Richard Madiebo, the new chairman of AIRS said the enforcement would include social bills, signage and waste management.

It was gathered that the state government had an outstanding bill of N513.9bn payable by no fewer than 2.1 million taxpayers in the state.

The amount was captured in the database under the Anambra Social Service Identity (ANSSID) number.

A source in the agency said,” We have generated a total collectable bill of N513.9 bn as at January 2022 against 2.1 million taxpayers in the state.

“This means that if we can ensure payment of this bill by indebted individuals, and they begin to make payment, the government will have a lot of money”.

The source urged Anambra residents to check the ANSSID portal for their status and proceed with relevant actions of filing and payment.

The source added,”The enforcement team from AIRS will be enforcing payment of taxes and levies, including Business Premises Permit, Waste Management, Signage and fire service compliance” .