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Tax Evasion: ACCI seeks caution in shutting hotels in Abuja

The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has urged the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) to exercise caution on its threat to seal hotels…

The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has urged the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) to exercise caution on its threat to seal hotels over issues of tax evasion.

In a statement by the president of ACCI, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, on Wednesday, he said such action would have negative implications on hospitality businesses in the council whose functions overlap that of the FCTA.

“The misunderstanding on the tax evasion is due to businesses in the FCT, including hoteliers, facing the dilemma of whom to pay taxes to between AMAC, FCTA and FIRS due to varying reasons. This lack of clarity of who to pay tax to by hoteliers has resulted to business owners paying double tax. And this is the fastest way to kill businesses in the FCT, and that cannot be the intention of the AMAC administration,” he said.

While stating that the chamber understands the important role taxation plays in the economic development of a country or state, Abubakar said the decision to seal hotels in the FCT due to tax matters would lead to a negative impact on the economy of Abuja.

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“The ACCI, therefore, appeals for an extension of the time frame considering the economic situation of the country. Furthermore, the chamber urges the FCT administration to urgently streamline tax administration in the FCT to avoid stifling businesses,” Abubakar said.

He also called for the need to integrate hotel businesses that contravened the Abuja master plan as few slots were approved for hotel buildings in the master plan.

“Categorisation of these enterprises into Hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfast, hostels and apartments with a clear scope of permitted activities for each category depending on the neighbourhood, will go a long way in supporting the growth of the industry rather than shutting them down,” he said.

He said the chamber is willing to hold a round table on the issues relating to tax administration, sustenance and compliance with FIRS, FCTA, AMAC, HOFA, businesses and other relevant stakeholders within the FCT.


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