GRA does not selectively enforce the law against taxpayers – GRA head
- Complainant seeking to sensationalize, politicize GRA’s effort to collect outstanding taxes from Company
The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has refuted allegations that the agency investigates those who are opposed to and critical of the GRA and its policies.
According to the tax agency, this was brought to its attention after comments by Alliance For Change executive Mrs. Cathy Hughes on a television programme “Eye on the Issues” hosted by Mr. Yesu Persaud and aired on June 24, last.
“The GRA is entrusted with the singular distinction of protecting and collecting the State’s revenue and enforcing the taxing statutes of Guyana. In this regard, the GRA does not selectively enforce the law against taxpayers based on their political affiliation, colour, creed, or religion but rather seeks to impartially enforce the law to protect and collect the State’s revenue in keeping with its mandate,” GRA boss Khurshid Sattaur noted.
Sattaur noted that it would appear that Mrs. Hughes, wife of the prominent attorney Nigel Hughes, is seeking to sensationalize and politicize the GRA’s effort to collect outstanding taxes from Harvest Company Ltd., a company of which her husband is a director.
“For the avoidance of any doubt, the facts relative to this matter are
outlined for the benefit of the public who may have otherwise been misled.
“On the 24th June, 2009, the GRA obtained judgment of $ 7,236,032 against the said company and they were granted a stay of execution of six months to liquidate their outstanding liability. Despite being granted this significant amount of time, the company made no effort to settle its indebtedness but instead accrued further liabilities.
“The GRA was again forced to resort to legal proceedings against the said company and on the 7th July, 2011 obtained judgment in the farther sum $621,097 against the said company. This amount and the previously outstanding sum are yet to be paid.
“Despite these judgments, repeated reminders and constant demands for the company and its directors to pay over to the GRA monies deducted from the salaries from its employees and held on trust for the GRA, the company and its directors continue to illegally withhold and misappropriate these funds. The company, accrued a further liability of $4,299,450, and is currently being pursued in the Court by the GRA to secure the taxes deducted from the balance of the employees.
“It is evident that the company and/or its directors have displayed by their conduct a flagrant disregard for the rule of law and the GRA.”
The GRA boss said that the agency is not intimidated by politically connected individuals who attempt to utilize their political activities as a cover for a breach of the rule of the Law.