There seems to be varying tax charges for the same type of vehicle and these charges appear to be levied according to whom the person is.
The Legal Affairs Ministry imported one used 2010 Toyota Jeep Land Cruiser acquired at a cost of $7.2 million. The vehicle with a 2TR engine capacity of 2693 cc was registered on August 22, 2013.
This vehicle enjoyed full tax exemption having been imported for a Government Ministry.
An identical vehicle imported by Kwame Gilbert, a Member of Parliament, was a 2011 model which was declared at a cost of $7.4 million. This vehicle was registered on April 1, 2014. This vehicle also enjoyed full tax exemption.
A third, similar vehicle, but a 2010 model, like the one imported by the Legal Affairs Ministry was imported by Khurshid Sattaur in his personal capacity, was declared at a cost of just under $1.5 million. It was registered on April 29, 2013.
Online checks revealed that the average price of such vehicles ranges from US$31,000 to US$40,000.
Sattaur is the Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority. He is not entitled to full tax exemption. His vehicle attracted a 30 per cent import tax.
The declared cost was some 80 per cent less than the other two identical vehicles which were declared at $7.2 million and $7.4 million respectively.
Had the Legal Affairs Ministry and MP Gilbert been asked to pay the 30 per cent taxes they would have been required to pay $2.1 million.
Sattaur, for a vehicle of same capacity and make, according to his declaration, only paid around $450,000, a quarter of what the others would have paid.
Was Sattaur’s vehicle undervalued to escape the higher tax or did Gilbert and the Ministry of Legal Affairs overvalue their imports?
This vehicle should attract the attention of the Auditor General.
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