The Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service (AKIRS) has taken decisive action by shutting down three banks in the state for their alleged failure to remit a total of N228.6 million in outstanding tax liabilities to the state government. This enforcement action was carried out by the board’s Enforcement and Recovery Department in compliance with an order of Notice of Distrain from the Akwa Ibom State High Court, Eket Judicial Division.
The affected banks include two branches of Keystone Bank, located at Abak Road and Ikot Ekpene Road, Uyo, and Heritage Bank, situated at Aka Road, Uyo.
Mr. Leo Umana, the Executive Director of Enforcement and Recovery at AKIRS, explained that Heritage Bank had not remitted N100,270,910 in tax liabilities, while Keystone Bank’s tax liabilities amounted to N128,413,882. Despite previous notices and attempts at reconciliation and negotiation, the banks allegedly failed to fulfill their tax obligations to the state.
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Umana further highlighted that the AKIRS had no choice but to seek an exparte order to recover the outstanding revenue, as the banks had not complied with the state’s tax regulations over an extended period.
Under the law, the banks have a 14-day period to negotiate with AKIRS and vacate the order after being served the Notice of Distrain. If they do not comply within this timeframe, the board has the legal mandate to sell the property to recover the unpaid taxes owed to the state.
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