Recently in his daily column of your newspaper, Freddie the Lecturer made some very startling revelations to the readership of your newspaper that had caught my interest.
In the column which is entitled, “Leslie checks out” Freddie proclaims now that he is a media personality when he makes reference to himself as your readership would have discerned. For the benefit of those who may not have read this particular column this is what Freddie wrote: “What needs to be said is that almost ninety nine percent of the reporting on governance in this country is in the realm of facts.
If there is no bad egg, the media will be exposed if we invent one. I doubt whether any media house could survive in this land if it does dish up a daily dose of wild reporting, unbearable speculation and obnoxious fictions. This is a nation of decent people and they won’t put up with that.”
In this same column Freddie grossly contradicted himself when he purportedly speaking as a journalist and what he attributes to facts no doubt, made the astounding revelation that the current head of GRA does not pay taxes. This revelation to say the least is indeed troubling not only because one would have at least expected someone who lectures at the highest institution of learning in the land to have ascertained the facts before making such a fallacious statement but moreso because of the prejudice of Freddie in choosing to make his apparent disgruntlement known since I, of Indian descent (a race that Freddie is embarrassed to be associated with) am a beneficiary even though such arrangement was in existence long before I became the head.
The fact that Freddie does not consider the serious implications that such statements could have were it to be challenged in court as libellous as there is no shred of evidence to support them, also contradicts his own statement concerning the “nation of decent people”
As if Freddie has not done enough damage to his credibility, in a subsequent column entitled, “My wife, my home, motor spare parts and….” He now attempts to explain to your readership his insightful knowledge of how his house can be verified by the auditors of the GRA.
This according to Freddie is the simple process of explaining to these officials that his savings together with that of his wife were used in the construction of his house.
He further challenges me into subjecting my self to a lie detector test to determine the source of funding of the items he acquired in his home.
As the head of the GRA, it is essential that I should disabuse the minds of your readership that were such a naive process used in auditing tax payers returns to ascertain their sudden display of wealth then officers of the GRA would not have required training in auditing and accounting and there would have been no need to have statements such as balance sheets and annual filing of property tax returns.
Every Tom, Dick and Freddie would have had a field day in spinning yarns to the GRA tax auditors concerning their source of funds to acquire their disproportionate ownership of assets and cost of maintaining same. Some may even use very cunning and innovative tactics to receive benefits both in kind and cash and avoid having to pay taxes on such income by using blackmail (threatening the head of the GRA to be subject to a lie detector test) and worse giving public attention to some businesses at the expense of adverse publicity to their competitors with apparent impunity.
I would like to advise Freddie that fortunately for the Guyanese nation that not only was I not schooled by the likes of him as I hold a professional qualification from the distinguished ACCA professional accounting body in the UK but that I am not easily intimidated by such cheap and vile threats.
Rather than masquerade his ignorance on the functions of the GRA and the law it administers in the press, Freddie needs to do the decent thing and share with the GRA, first and foremost, a true and correct returns of his income and his property tax returns for the past seven years.
I can assure Freddie that I have been doing that not only for the past seven years, but the past 25 years as an employee of the Guyana Revenue Authority (formerly the Inland Revenue Department).
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