Aug 16, 2008 News Comments Off on GRA, DDL at war over C/tax…Appellate Court orders fresh assessments
In the wake of an article in Friday’s edition of Kaieteur News under the headline “DDL wins appeal against GRA,” the Guyana Revenue Authority is refuting the claims made by the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) that it won the appeal.
Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Khurshid Sattaur, said that he is rather disturbed at the press release issued by DDL, which does not accurately reflect the implications of the decision of the court.
Sattaur told Kaieteur News that the Court of Appeal did not rule in favour of DDL.
The ruling was multi-faceted, in that it found that the GRA assessment of the DDL operations was wrong. But the ruling also found that the DDL assessment for the purpose of consumption tax was invalid. The court has since ordered both DDL and GRA to conduct new assessments.
Further, the court ruled that the function of determining the notional open market selling price of the product is not that of the company, but of the controller.
The company itself not only fixed the selling price, thereby usurping the statutory authority of the controller, but in so doing placed an open market value on its own products, without necessarily taking into consideration all relevant post-production costs, which ought to include a probation cost and commission sales cost and expenses, the court found.
The court, comprising Chancellor Carl Singh, Chief Justice Ian Chang and Justice William Ramlal, also threw out one of DDL’ submissions that was based on President Bharrat Jagdeo’s at the Guyana Manufacturing Association.
In 2002, DDL asked the court to rule that the company was being taxed twice by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) with respect to Consumption Tax on alcohol products manufactured at Diamond and sold on the local market.
The case covered manufacturing activity between January 2001 and September 2002.
The amounts of consumption tax claimed by GRA were based on a valuation of the goods, which was based on a wholesale price list of DDL.
DDL argued that the wholesale price list already included the consumption tax on the products, as well as the cost of delivery by DDL to the customer, and asked that the consumption tax be based on the valuation of the products when held in its Customs Bond.
It was explained to Kaieteur News that the court found that GRA’s method of assessment for the purpose of consumption tax was incorrect, and as such the revenue authority was asked by the court to reassess the consumption tax of the company for the years 2001to 2006, which may result in an additional tax liability.
Kaieteur News understands that the GRA is currently in the process of conducting an audit to determine and quantify the outstanding tax liability of DDL.
According to the court, the Commissioner-General is mandated under the act to compute the tax base on a notional open market price which would include expenses incurred after production, such as commissions, sales costs and expenses; and that notional price becomes the selling price for the calculation of the tax.
The court then concluded that, instead of computing the tax in accordance with the law, the Commissioner General relied on DDL’s actual selling price of the products, which was completely wrong.
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