Tag Archives: tax

Diego Costa bag 6 months prison term.

Advertisements

Atletico Madrid striker, Diego Costa has been sentenced to six months in prison for fraud; but due to Spanish law, he will pay a hefty fine to avoid serving the time.

According to court filing published last month, the 31-year-old did not declare payments of just over €5m (£4.4m) from his 2014 transfer from Atletico to Chelsea in his tax return, as well as more than €1m (£900,000) in image rights. He has now been handed a total fine of €543,000 (£482,000).

Due to the fact that Spanish law allows penal sentences below two years for non-violent crimes to be exchanged for a financial penalty, Diego Costa agreed to pay an additional fine of €36,500 (£32,000) on top of the €507,000 (£450,000) to avoid prison time.

Advertisements

Speaking ahead of his court visit on Thursday, an Atletico spokesman said:

Read Also

Costa could stay at Atletico for another season despite Roma links

‘Diego Costa reached an agreement a few months ago with the prosecutor and has already paid the corresponding fine plus interest and the request for a prison sentence was withdrawn.’

Advertisements

‘This week it is expected that agreement will be ratified in court, as is mandatory.’

Diego Costa joins the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and ex-Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, who all have been involved in tax fraud. None of them served prison time but did pay hefty fines


#Newsworthy…

Advertisements

U.S president announce why tax payments may be delayed.


On Tuesday, the White House announced some details on how taxpayers will be able to defer any tax payments they might have.

“If you owe a payment to the IRS, you can defer up to $1 million as an individual,” said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, adding that the payments would be “interest free and penalty free for 90 days.”

“All you have to do is file your taxes; you’ll automatically not get charged interest in penalties,” Mnuchin said during a coronavirus briefing with President Trump looking on.


#Newsworthy…

VAT: BEDC improve power supply


The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday said it would mobilise Nigerians to resist any form of increment in the electricity tariff, be it in form of Value Added Tax (VAT) or others.

This is even as it said it has nothing to do with the ongoing public hearing on the proposed increase in the electricity tariff across the country.

President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, who spoke in Lagos yesterday warned that the labour centre would not support any increase in the electricity tariff as it would further impoverish Nigerians.

Continue reading VAT: BEDC improve power supply

Wealthy Nigerians, highest tax evaders – Bode Agusto


A former Director General, Budget Office, Mr Bode Agusto, has said 200,000 wealthy Nigerians are the biggest tax evaders in the country.

Agusto stated this on Tuesday at the 17th Annual Aret Adams Memorial Lecture in Lagos, with the theme, ‘Nigeria’s economy after oil: How prepared are we?’


He said there was a need to increase non-oil tax revenues in the country, adding that non-oil taxes collected by all tiers of government in Nigeria averaged four per cent of national income in the past five years.

He said, “In Angola, it was eight per cent; Ghana, 16 per cent; Kenya, 18 per cent; South Africa, 24 per cent, and in the OECD countries, 32 per cent. The World Bank says a nation cannot grow meaningfully if tax revenue is less than 15 per cent of national income.


“Why is Nigeria generating significantly lower tax revenues than other key economies in sub-Saharan Africa? In my opinion, it is largely due to poor tax compliance in Nigeria.

“What if Nigeria were able to increase non-oil tax revenue to 15 per cent of national income? This means that Nigeria will generate an additional N14.4tn in revenues every year.”


Agusto said it also meant that total government revenue would be 20 per cent of national income or N28.8tn per annum compared to the current figure of N10.4tn.

He said to raise the level of non-oil tax revenue, the government should focus on Personal Income Tax, Value Added Tax and Companies’ Income Tax, and make tax laws simpler.


He said the government should show willingness to enforce tax laws, adding, “I believe the government should focus on PIT, forgive all past sins and thus look forward and not backwards.

“The next step is for Mr President to make his PIT returns public annually, then make it obligatory for all those want to work for him to do the same. He should then look at all of us in the face and say, ‘Woe betides you if you don’t comply going forward!’

“The biggest culprits with respect to tax evasion are the wealthy 0.1% of the population (or 200,000 individuals) who ought to self-assess themselves to tax but fail to do so. The focus should be on them, not businesses and those in employment who are already largely compliant.

“They should enforce by auditing a sample of individuals; if they have underpaid, ask them to pay such amounts plus a stiff penalty. If they fail, impound their assets, sell and pay government. Don’t waste taxpayers’ money throwing anyone into jail and start feeding him.”


#Newsworthy…

Just in: FIRS set to block $10b tax leak in the country


Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Muhammad Nami, has said that the agency was determined to stop an annual tax revenue loss of about $10 billion through illicit profit shifting by multinational corporations operating in the country.


He said such humongous sum would change the fortunes of the country if captured and channeled to address the frightening infrastructure deficit of Nigeria.

Speaking on Friday in Abuja at the start of the Service’s 2020 Management Retreat held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Nami who quoted the African Union Illicit Financial Flow Report, said: “Africa is losing $50 billion through profit shifting by multinational corporations and about $10 billion of this amount is from Nigeria alone.”


He thus harped on the urgent need to halt serial loss by smashing all identified tax avoidance schemes by individuals and corporate organizations.

Nami, according to a statement by the Director, Communications, FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila, revealed that his management has launched a comprehensive, tax collection reform process “anchored on four cardinal pillars of rebuilding FIRS’ institutional framework; robust collaboration with stakeholders; building a customer or taxpayer-centric institution; and making the FIRS data-centric institution.”


He added that the board and management team has also set a target of improving the Service’s performance over the next four years by a “minimum target of $5 million staff-to-revenue- ration and a 10% tax-to-GDP ratio.”

Showing that the FIRS was gradually weaning Nigeria off its dependence on oil revenue, Nami disclosed that non-oil taxes “accounted for 60% contribution to the total collection” of taxes in 2019.

Projecting into this year, Nami stated: “For the year 2020, we have a target of N8.5 trillion. This is broken down into oil tax of N3.7 trillion and non-oil taxes target of N4.8 trillion.”

The FIRS boss assured that the Service would play its “strategic role in the nation’s political economy, including supporting the actualization of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s commitment of moving the country up on the Ease of Doing Business Ranking and taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years and rebuilding Nigeria’s critical infrastructure.”


#Newsworthy…

New Finance Act: Digital companies to pay tax – FG


Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo says multinational digital companies operating abroad with significant economic presence in Nigeria will be subjected to taxation under the new Finance Act.


Osinbajo disclosed this on Friday in Abuja during a lecture titled: “Economic Dimension of National Security: The Nigerian Experience”, organised for participants of Course 28 of the National Defence College.

According to him, before the Finance Act, only companies that have physical presence or fixed address in Nigeria are being taxed. “So, most digital and multinational technology companies do not have physical presence in Nigeria, yet make significant income in Nigeria from online activities.


“They pay no tax to Nigeria because they do not have physical presence in Nigeria, now we are no longer relying on physical presence. Under the new Act, once you have a significant economic presence in Nigeria, you are liable to tax whether you are resident here or not,” he said.

He said that non residents, who previously had no fixed address would now be taxed under the new Act. The vice president said that the Finance Act was designed to generate more revenue for government and improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria.


He noted that adequate provisions were made under the Act to protect the Small and Medium Scale businesses in view of their roles in national development.

Osinbajo said the economic policies of the Federal Government were centred on creating conducive environment for the private sector to strive and support towards creating wealth, jobs and opportunities.


“Private sector is key to job creation and in doing so, government has responsibility to provide the needed infrastructure and enabling environment.

“Before the private sector is able to provide sufficiently for the majority of people, it is the responsibility of government to provide safety net for the extremely vulnerable and those who cannot work. This is the premise upon which our social investment policy was derived,” he said.

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo


Osinbajo said that the security as well as welfare of citizens was the primary purpose of government, adding that the economy was central to human security.

He said that human security was beyond absence of war and conflict but the availability of basic needs of man, food, shelter and clothing.


#Newsworthy…

Baba ijebu under fire as EFCC invade office (Reason) ..


Nigerian businessman, Adebutu Kessington popularly known as Baba Ijebu is reportedly being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged tax fraud and economic sabotage.

The investigation which was rolled out after Western Lotto (another betting company which is owned by former Ogun Senator Buruji Kashamu) petitioned the anti-graft agency, has led to the detention of one of Adebutu’s sons and a management official of Premier Lotto at the Lagos office of the EFCC.


EFCC sources told Premium Times that they have identified at least N5 billion in revenue losses against the government since the investigation began, directly blaming the management of Premier Lotto for allegedly shortchanging Nigerians.

Though the EFCC has not officially filed any charges against Premier Lotto, it is however speculated that the probe might be expanded to include other betting companies and investigate claims of sharp practices and how some firms allegedly withhold funds from winning customers.

Nigerian businessman, Adebutu Kessington (Baba Ijebu)


Before now, Baba Ijebu has been widely hailed as pioneering inclusive gambling in Nigeria and shooting it into the mainstream. Although it was only in 2001 that he registered Premier Lotto, the betting franchise that accounts for the largest share of his wealth.

Chief Adebutu and former Senator Buruji Kashamu are no strangers to each other as there has always been a lotto turf war between them. They clashed on the political turf in Ogun State in the run-up to the 2019 governorship election, after Kashamu insisted he was the PDP candidate and got all the court orders to shut out Adebutu’s son.


#Newsworthy..

Now: KDIRS honoured 15 taxpayers


The Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KDIRS) has honoured 15 taxpayers for the timely filing of their tax returns.

Dr Zaid Abubakar, the Chairman of the agency, disclosed in Kaduna on Sunday that the recognition was part of strategies to encourage taxpayers’ voluntary compliance.

According to him, the objective is to encourage taxpayers to file their tax returns voluntarily as at when due, which will assist the government in providing quality service to the people.


“We recognised 15 taxpayers for being the first set of people that filed their returns in 2019.

“This is very commendable, considering how citizens avoid paying tax.


“It is also commendable because the timing of filing tax returns is very important for us and it shows their commitment to supporting the government to provide basic infrastructure to the people.

“We, therefore, recognised and honoured them to encourage such noble act and encourage others to key in,” Abubakar said.


He listed the taxpayers as Dr Lema Jibrilu, who was honoured for being the Best High Net Worth Taxpayer; and Alhaji Shehu Yakubu, trader, Best Taxpayer, Direct Assessment (DA), Doka West.

Others are Capital Express Assurance, Best Taxpayer, Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), Doka West; Mr Wole Ogunbiade, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Best Taxpayer, DA, Doka East; and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Best Taxpayer, PAYE, Doka East.


Malam Ibrahim Garba was recognised as the Best Taxpayer, DA, Kakuri East; St. Gerard Hospital, Best Taxpayer, PAYE, Kakuri East; and Hajiya Indo Yuguda, Best Taxpayer, DA, Kawo.

Others include Islamic Medical Foundation, Best Taxpayer, DA, Tudun Wada; Suleiman Abbas Ladan, Best Taxpayer, DA, Samaru; Premier Seeds Best Taxpayer, PAYE, Samaru; and Alhaji Bala Bello, Best Taxpayer, DA, Zaria.


The agency also recognised Sunseed Nig. Ltd. as Best Taxpayer, PAYE, Zaria; Dr E. Ozumba, Best Taxpayer, DA, Kafanchan; and Throneroom Trust Ministry, Best Taxpayer, PAYE, Kafanchan.

Abubakar also said that 25 staff of the agency were equally honoured for outstanding performance within the period under review.


He said that the workers were given plaques and cash as incentives to boost their morale and encourage others to emulate their performance.

He identified the staff as Malam Ibrahim Gambo, Best Driver; Mr Audu Madaki, Best Cleaner; Malam Yahaya Saley, Best Messenger; Mr Kabiru Babale, Best Office Attendants; and Mr Ashiru Mohammed, Best Security Officer.


Others are Mr Yusuf Kabir, Best ICT Officer; Mr Kenneth Lucky was honoured for being Most Decently Dressed Male; Jemimah Umar, Most Decently Dressed Female; and Godiya Sambo, Outstanding Performance in Tax Payment Services.

Also, Shehu Ismail emerged the Best Tax Audit Team Leader; Godiya Gaius, Halidu Mohammed and Grace Gandu, Best Tax Audit Team Members; while Abdullahi Zuntu emerged Best Area Revenue Officer.


Similarly, Doka West Area Revenue Office emerged Best Area Revenue Office; Richard Bature, Best Zonal Coordinator; and Kabir Balarabe was recognised for Outstanding Performance in Revenue Accounting.

Malam Ado Garba, Usman Shuaibu, Mahmud Nuhu, Abigail Shock, Musa Aliyu and Isa Shehu were recognised for Outstanding Performance in Enforcement.

In the same vein, Messts Ibrahim Galadima and Yakubu Isa were equally recognised for Outstanding Performance in Coordinating Tax.

The revenue collection boss assured that the awards would be a yearly activity to encourage taxpayers and workers.


#Newsworthy…

$2bn Tax debts against MTN cancelled


MTN Nigeria yesterday disclosed its legal counsel has received a letter dated January 8, 2020 from the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF) formally withdrawing his demand for N242,244,452,215.97 and USD$1, 283,610,357.86 alleged revenue indebtedness.

According to the company in a press statement sent to Saturday Sun and signed by Uto Ukpanah, MTN Company Secretary , the letter confirmed that following careful review and due consultation with relevant statutory agencies, the AGF has decided to refer the matter to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) with a view to resolving contentious issues. MTN consequently said it will follow due court process to withdraw its legal action against the AGF and engage with the FIRS and NCS on the issues adding that MTN remains committed to conducting its business in accordance with applicable laws in Nigeria.


Expressing satisfaction at the development, MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman said “we are very pleased with the decision of the AGF and we commend him for his wisdom. We maintain our dedication to building and maintaining cordial relationships with all regulatory authorities in Nigeria and remain fully committed to meeting our fiscal responsibilities and contributing to the social and economic development of Nigeria.”

Recall that, the Attorney General Abubakar Malami had alleged that MTN owed taxes relating to the import of equipment and payments to foreign suppliers from 2007 to 2017.

MTN, which began operation in Nigeria in 2001, is the country’s largest operator with some 60 million subscribers.

The company last year settled a $1.5 billion fine levelled by the NCC for failing to disconnect unregistered subscribers.


#Newsworthy…

Will we ever see Trump’s tax record? ask the supreme court.


Washington (CNN)Here are the stories our panel of top political reporters will be watching for in the year ahead, in this week’s “Inside Politics” forecast.

1. Supreme Court to rule on Trump tax records
The Supreme Court is expected to rule next year on efforts to obtain President Donald Trump’s tax records.

House Democrats and New York prosecutors are among those suing for access as part of ongoing investigations. And Wall Street Journal White House reporter Catherine Lucey says a decision could come right in the heat of the 2020 presidential campaign.
“The Supreme Court has agreed to hear these cases in March,” Lucey said. “If the courts rule against the President, it could have long-reaching implications for presidential power, and also have an impact on the 2020 race.”


A ruling is likely in June — meaning Congress could get a look at the President’s closely-guarded financial secrets before Election Day.
2. Texting while campaigning
It’s not just social media that’s changing how presidential candidates campaign and raise money. They’re finding creative new ways to text you too, Politico national political reporter Alex Thompson said.
“The Trump campaign is spending millions of dollars on this technology,” Thompson said. “They’re already way ahead of Democrats in terms of embedding videos and everything else. And while there’s scrutiny with ads on Facebook and Twitter, this is still largely the wild wild west.”
Thompson said Democrats are slowly catching up with Trump.
“You are seeing Elizabeth Warren’s campaign doing things where you sign up, you get a photo of her dog Bailey or a photo of a llama that was canvassing with voters in New Hampshire,” Thompson said. “So look at this technology to be really important in contacting voters in this 2020 election.”
3. US-Saudi relations
It’s been a difficult two years for US-Saudi Arabia relations. Even as Trump has largely looked past it, the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi still looms large for many key lawmakers.
But despite plenty of talk of punishing Saudi Arabia, Washington Post congressional correspondent Karoun Demirjian said not much has actually changed.


It seemed like a critical mass was building in Congress, when you first had the resolution condemning the Saudis for Khashoggi’s murder,” Demirjian said. “You had the fight to do something about curtailing US support for the air campaign in Yemen. It seemed to be building to something, and then nothing happened at all.”
Not even a Saudi military officer killing three people at a US Navy base in Florida earlier this month is making much of an impact, Demirjian said.


“People barely flinched in terms of policy,” Demirjian said. “The question is does this issue keep just kind of fizzling and go away?”
4. GOP & paid parental leave
The concept of providing paid time off for new parents isn’t new but the US is one of the only major countries in the world not to require it.
Democrats have long championed the idea, but McClatchy White House reporter Francesca Chambers says a lot of Republicans are now on board.
“The President just signed a bill that gives paid parental leave to all federal workers for 12 weeks,” Chambers said. And more could be coming — she points to a bipartisan bill from Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican, and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an Arizona Democrat, that would let new parents essentially borrow money from the government as an advance on the Child Tax Credit.


“The original thought was this could get a vote as early as February,” Chambers said. “We don’t know how long the Senate will be tied up with impeachment, but they’re hopeful it could become law in 2020. And the White House has said it endorses this bill.”
5. Pompeo’s next move
And from CNN congressional correspondent Phil Mattingly:
It’s no secret that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is actively considering leaving the administration to run for Senate in Kansas, despite what he may say publicly. But it’s the effort going on behind the scenes by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that has been most interesting to me.
McConnell has been unabashed about his desire to see Pompeo as the next senator from Kansas. But it goes beyond his repeated public statements to that effect. Sources tell me he and his allies have made clear to Pompeo that the Senate is an ideal post-administration landing spot for someone with big — the biggest even — political ambitions


#NewsWorthy…

Enugu to distrain 3,000 establishments over tax evasion.

… seal banks, hotels, others

The Enugu State Internal Revenue Service, in compliance with court orders, on Friday, distrained commercial banks, hotels, schools and other properties in the state for refusal of their owners to pay withholding taxes, PAYE tax, Land Use Charge and other development levy to the state government.

Briefing newsmen shortly after the exercise, the chairman of the agency, Mr. Emeka Odo, disclosed that over 3,000 properties across the state owe the state government various degrees of taxes despite repeated reminders for them to pay.

Odo who added that the total debt to be recovered was over N2.5 billion, regretted that “the affected commercial establishments and some private institutions have refused to remit taxes they deducted, to the Enugu State government.”

The chairman further disclosed that 37 institutions were affected in the year-end enforcement on recalcitrant tax defaulters which was carried out in the early hours of Friday.

He said that the debts included those of land use charges stressing that more of the defaulting institutions would be sealed in the coming days.

“This exercise, which is ongoing, involves the distrainment of a number of commercial establishments, banks and some private institutions.

“They have refused to remit to the state government taxes they deducted from clients, staffers and others.

“We have also appointed receiver managers over some commercial properties whose owners have refused to pay Land Use Charge to Enugu State government, despite repeated reminders.

“This exercise is pursuant to an ex-parte order from the High Court of Enugu State. It is expected that over 3,000 properties will be affected by the work of the receiver managers,” Odo said.

#Newsworthy…

Bank customers to present tax card come next month.

…Financial Bill to widen tax net will go into effect after Buhari’s assent

EVIDENCE of tax payment will be a condition for operating a bank account from January, according to the Financial bill passed by the National Assembly.

The Bill, submitted to the lawmakers with Budget 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari, is designed to improve financial operations of the country and streamline the tax regime.

It is expected to be signed with the budget before end of the month, to actualise the return to the January – December budget cycle.

According to a section of the Bill, banks will require anybody opening an account to provide his Tax Identification Number (TIN)

Those who already have accounts with banks will also be required to provide their TIN.

There are 30 million Bank Verification Numbers (BVN)-linked accounts.

The intention is to make sure that more people are captured into the tax net.

According to the Joint Tax Board, the tax identification number (TIN) is a unique identifier for an individual or a company for tax remittance.

The TIN is prepared by the tax office and issued for proper identification and verification.

Applying for TIN is free. The TIN generation process is real-time and should not exceed 48 hours after a request is submitted.

Another major feature of the Financial Bill is the hike in Value Added Tax (VAT) to 7.5 per cent from the extant five per cent.

Also in the bill, emails will be accepted by the tax authorities as a formal channel of correspondence with taxpayers.

The bill will also strategically “promote fiscal equity by mitigating instances of regressive taxation; reform domestic tax laws to align with global best practices; introduce tax incentives for investments in infrastructure and capital markets; support small businesses in line with the ongoing Ease of Doing Business Reforms; and raise revenues for the Government by various fiscal measures.”

Under the proposed Personal Income Tax Act: the bill will state that pension contributions no longer require the approval of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) to be tax-deductible.

The bill when signed into law, will remove the tax exemption on withdrawals from pension schemes except the prescribed conditions are met.

The bill will come up with a penalty for failure to deduct tax by agents appointed for tax deduction. This penalty is 10 per cent of the tax not deducted, plus interest at the prevailing monetary policy rate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The conditions attached to tax exemption on gratuities will be removed by the bill, meaning that gratuities are unconditionally tax exempt. The duties currently performed by the Joint Tax Board (JTB) as it relates to administering the Personal Income Tax Act, will now be performed by the FIRS.

Another penalty that will come into effect when the bill becomes law will be the penalty for late filing of the Value Added Tax (VAT) returns.

The penalty for failure to register for VAT will be reviewed upwards to N50,000 for the first month of default and N25,000 for each subsequent month of default.

The penalty for failure to notify FIRS of change in company address will be reviewed upwards to N50,000 for the first month of default and N25,000 for each subsequent month of default. This penalty also covers failure to notify FIRS of permanent cessation of trade or business.

Similar to the VAT amendment, the bill is also introducing Capital Gains Tax (CGT) exemption on Group reorganisations, subject to the following conditions being met.

They are:

Assets are sold to a Nigerian company and is for the better organisation of the trade or business;
The entities involved are within a recognised group 365 days before the transaction, and the relevant assets are not disposed earlier than 365 days after the transaction.
The current practice is that companies send an approval request letter under CITA S29(9) to the FIRS, and include a CGT exemption request. Currently, the CGT Act imposes CGT on compensation for loss of employment above N10,000.

The bill seeks to expand the coverage of this provision by renaming it “compensation for loss” and increase the minimum threshold from N10,000 to N10 million.

#Newsworthy…

Reps revealed finance bill to increase VAT submitted by Buhari as it passed their reading.

Members of the House of Representatives on Thursday November 28, passed the 2019 Finance Bill submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari after it passed its third reading.

The bill which introduced tax incentives for investment in infrastructure, capital markets and supports small businesses also amended six tax provisions to make them more responsive to tax reform policies.

It is expected that the 2019 Finance Bill will reform the current tax regime by amending seven acts namely: Petroleum Profit Tax Act, Custom and Excise Tax Act, Company Income Tax Act, Personal Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax Act, Stamp Duties Tax Act, and Capital Gains Act.

Channels Television reported that asides increasing the Value Added Tax on specific goods and services from 5 per cent to 7.5 percent, the bill also amends the tax provision of the Customs and Excise Tariff Act to encourage local manufacturers.

#Newsworthy…

Spain: Former liverpool and Madrid star, Xabi Alonso arrested for tax fraud…

Former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder, Xabi Alonso has been acquitted of tax fraud in Spain.

The Spainaird, 38, and current coach of Segunda División B club Real Sociedad B was tried for three counts of tax fraud state prosecutors said he had committed between 2010 and 2012. He was playing for Real Madrid at the time.

According to prosecutors, the case revolved around nearly £2million Alonso evaded in tax from image rights. But the former footballer repeatedly protested his innocence and even decided to go to trial instead of paying the Spanish Treasury the tax it was claiming plus fines.

His trial ended last month and he was facing two and a half years in prison after state prosecutors lowered their initial demand that he will be jailed for 5- years.

On Tuesday, November 26, Alonso was cleared by Madrid’s Audiencia Provincial Court in a 30-page ruling.

The judges said in their lengthy ruling they ‘did not coincide’ with prosecution claims Alonso had ceded his image rights to Madeira-based Kardzali as part of an operation designed simply to avoid paying proper taxes in Spain.

Alonso’s tax advisor Ivan Zaldua and Ignasi Maestre who said the retired footballer used to avoid paying taxes on his images rights, were also acquitted of any wrongdoing.

The judges concluded in their written sentence, saying: ‘The facts do not constitute the crimes against the Spanish Treasury which the defendants have been charged with. Therefore we are acquitting all three of the accused of any wrongdoing.’

#Newsworthy…

Gov. Okowa raises alarm on how the rich evade tax..

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Monday in Asaba lamented the evasion of tax payment by majority of those in affluence in the state.

The governor said such apathy towards tax obligation was exacerbating the already dwindling revenue from the federation accounts.

Okowa who made the observation while inaugurating the state board of internal revenue, charged the board to step up efforts to increase internally generated revenue so as to bridge the funding gap in the state economy.

He however, urged the board which has Mr. Monday Onyeme as chairman not to burden the poor nor over charge the rich who were already keyed into the tax net but seek ways to engage new taxpayers.

According to him, “the state needs additional funds to finance its technical education, health, infrastructure (roads) among others.”

He further tasked the board to increase its relationship with all relevant government agencies for effective synergy to increase internal revenue.

Other members of the inaugurated board were Mr. Mike Edegware (secretary), Mr. Kelly Edegwhenerue and Mr. Godday Daniel. The fifth member, Austin Igbini, according the governor, would be inaugurated next month.

Responding on behalf of other members, Onyeme, thanked the governor for finding them worthy to be re-appointed for a second term and pledged their commitment to deliver on the mandate.

He appealed to the governor and the state House of Assembly to fast track the process of the giving full autonomy to the board.

According to him, the autonomy will enable the board act faster, effectively and become more proactive in tackling tax matters and increase the revenue base.

#Newsworthy…

Taxpayers may bear burden of unrecovered debts – AMCON..

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria is seeking the support of the judiciary to recover the over N5.4tn debt owed the corporation by chronic debtors.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, AMCON, Mr Ahmed Kuru, said this on Saturday at the 2019 annual seminar for Justices of the Court of Appeal.

The seminar which was held at the Court of Appeal complex in Abuja had as it’s theme, “The amended AMCON Act 2019: A detailed review.”

Kuru said in view of the fact that AMCON is approaching its terminal date, it had become imperative to get the support of the courts in resolving all the pending cases currently before them.

He also told the Justices that more than ever before, AMCON would need the support of the judiciary to resolve the debt obligation before the terminal date.

This, he noted, was imperative based on the conviction that debtors of AMCON are working hard to stretch the corporation to its terminal date.

He explained that if the over N5.4tn debt owed AMCON remain unrecovered, it would eventually become the burden of the Federal Government and by extension Nigerian taxpayers.

He told the Justices that this should not be allowed to happen because currently, those owing these debts are using various technicalities to delay court cases.

He said, “The amendments (of the AMCON Act) was done to recover the loans people took from banks.

“If AMCON is not able to recover the debt, it becomes the debt of the government and when this happens, it is the taxpayers, who will bear this burden of people who were reckless. This should not be allowed to happen.
“We urge you to designate some of the courts for AMCON cases. We urge you to assist in granting accelerated hearing for AMCON cases.”

He said the different challenges of AMCON in its debt recovery drive, had necessitated AMCON to put machinery in motion and worked with the National Assembly to amend the Act.

The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, in her opening address at the event, said the concern raised by the AMCON MD is becoming worrisome in view of the fact that recalcitrant obligors deploy technicalities to frustrate the corporation.

She said given the challenges faced by AMCON in its debt recovery efforts, the corporation cannot operate effectively without the sustained support of the courts.

She said, “Indeed, AMCON has demonstrated extraordinary submission and respect to our revered institutions by ensuring that it collaborates with the National Judicial Institute for its programmes with the courts.

“This approach evidences the transparency that is inherent and indispensable in the interface between the Judiciary and the Executive.

“It is compelling to remind you that AMCON has a sun-set date. This time constraint has made it necessary for AMCON to move to the enforcement gear.”

For AMCON to accomplish its target as it approaches the sun-set date, the Appeal Court President said the corporation must be more proactive and ingenious in its approach towards the realisation of its objectives.

“It is therefore beyond doubt that for AMCON to succeed, the support of the judiciary is decisive as the distinguished Judiciary is the last hope of AMCON.”

#Newsworthy…