…allows AG’s uncle to dodge taxes
There are strong indications that the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) failed to carry required
audit checks, to ensure compliance on a remigrant who is at the centre of questions over a multi-million-dollar duty free concession he was granted.
Under regulations of the tax collection agency, persons who qualify to become a remigrant and have been granted duty free concessions on vehicles, are required to check with GRA every six months and must continue for three years.
The remigrant is mandated to take in the vehicle, as well as his/her passport.
The passport is required as it shows whether the remigrant has been living in Guyana.
In the case of the Kamal Mangal, a remigrant who brought in a Mercedes Benz AMG sports utility vehicle (SUV), records indicate that he never spent more than a few days at a time when he visits Guyana.
It has been almost 24 months since the vehicle was registered on November 2, 2012. Mangal has spent a total of four months in Guyana and 20 overseas.
Mangal’s case raises questions why GRA’s special unit, tasked with monitoring remigrants, allowed the man to slip below the radar.
Mangal himself said that since bringing in the vehicle, he has never been contacted by GRA on any problems.
Had he been taking his passport as required, GRA’s verification unit would have immediately discovered that he was in breach of the conditions under which the vehicle was granted.
Mangal’s case surfaced over a week ago when a newspaper article disclosed that he was the uncle of Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, and that he had used Nandlall’s Prashad Nagar address when he applied to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to become a remigrant.
The Minister later said that Mangal stayed with him for while.
The remigrant, during an interview with Kaieteur News this week, said he stayed with Nandlall, with whom he also had a close business relationship.
At the time, Mangal was building an apartment building on Delhi Street, also located in Prashad Nagar.
In 2012, based on an approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which granted Mangal remigrant status, GRA issued a tax exemption letter which clearly stated that he was approved for a remission of Customs Duty and zero rating of the Value Added Tax (VAT) on the Mercedes Benz SUV.
Mangal was also told in that tax exemption approval by GRA that he is not allowed to sell or lease the vehicle within three years of registration.
More importantly, Mangal was told to take his vehicle’s registration, licence, fitness and insurance for inspection to GRA every six months from the date of registration.
Under GRA policies, the remigrant had to also take in his passport where a verification unit would check to ensure that he is indeed living in Guyana.
Under the regulations, if GRA finds that the remigrant spent more time abroad than in Guyana, the agency is required to write the Foreign Affairs Ministry to revoke the remigrant status.
Once the status is revoked, taxes are calculated and become immediately payable.
There are no indications that GRA did anything in the case of Mangal who, according to records, was not even in Guyana in November 2012 when the vehicle was registered.
The remigrant, who said he lived in the US for over 30 years and still has business holdings there, was required by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to swear to a Statutory Declaration that he was returning home to live for at least three years, failing which all exemptions granted become immediately payable.
The spotlight has been drawn to the remigrant scheme following revelations that state auditors have been investigating a fraud scheme in which vehicles were coming in and being sold illegally, robbing the state of millions in taxes.
There have been reports that the remigrant scheme, especially with vehicles, and with the help of state officials, was being abused, with many applicants just coming for a short while and then returning overseas, breaching regulations.
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