Procter & Gamble under investigation over non-payment of tax

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Procter and Gamble Nigeria  is being investigated by the House of Representatives over non-payment of tax in three years.

Ripples Nigeria reported that the company had defended the action with a tax waiver obtained from the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

The company didn’t pay tax between 2016 and 2018 despite recording N42 billion, N41 billion and N48 billion incomes respectively, and zero profit.

This was discovered by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, which subsequently issued a query.

The probe is being conducted by the Committee on Public Accounts of the lower chamber after lawmaker, Zakaria Nyampa, moved a motion regarding the findings of the Auditor.

P&G’s Financial Director, Ogunbodele Emiola, during a probe hearing on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in Abuja, said her company paid education tax during financial years where profit was made.

Emiola further defended the non-payment of tax by stating that Nigeria’s operating business environment has been difficult in recent years.

Despite her defense, the lawmakers were still disturbed as to why the FIRS issued the company a tax Waiver.

Nyampa said, “Chairman, permit me to take this as a motion. Some of these years under review, 2017, 2016, 2018 where their turnover was N42bn, N41bn and N48bn and their profits were nil, and FIRS went ahead to give them tax clearance.

“I want to move a motion that we invite FIRS to authenticate these certificates and their financial returns; the things they filed that FIRS was convinced that these people should not pay tax for those years under review.”

Chairman of the committee, Wole Oke, said FIRS will have to appear before the panel to explain the tax Waiver, but the house of Reps will also probe the import duty of P&G in 2017 which was worth N6.4 billion.

Oke said the assets of the company needs to be scrutinised and demanded documents on import duty of plant equipment and machinery, “If you look at the acceptance given to you, dated March 6, 2017, your foreign content was N6.4bn for value of foreign content, machinery and equipment.

“We need to look at their asset register in their versions audited account and their value on this certificate of acceptance along with their import duty paid on the equipment imported worth N6.4bn.

“The document you need to give us now are your important duty on the plant equipment and machinery. On your taxes, we will call FIRS to come and defend their decision to give you zero tax assessment which means you did not pay education tax neither did you pay company income tax.” Oke told P&G.

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