Former AG’s attack on Revenue Authority uncalled for

Georgetown, Monday, October 9, 2017:  The Guyana Revenue Authority considers Attorney at Law, Anil Nandlall’s attack on the Agency unwarranted, spurious and entirely devoid of merit or substance. In the October 9, 2017 edition of the Kaieteur Newspaper, an article titled “Gaming Authority gave AG Sleep-Inn’s ‘confidential’ financial information”, Mr. Nandlall attacked a number of legislation which allow the Authority to take additional measures to retrieve taxes owed to the state by taxpayers seeking to avoid payment.

It is assumed that references were being made to Act No. 3 of 2017 – The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act 2017, Section 51 and the Income Tax Act Ch. 81:01, Section 102 which specifically speak to Distress Proceedings and Garnishment. It is particularly ironic coming from Mr. Nandlall, having regard to the fact, that such provisions existed either within the VAT or Income Tax legislations which were in force and/or implemented when Mr. Nandlall held the office of Attorney General that allowed the GRA to access bank information, and prevent defaulting taxpayers from leaving the jurisdiction.

Mr. Nandlall’s irresponsible utterings claim that the GRA “can invade persons’ bank accounts without any notice to them…” This is far removed from the truth. Mr. Nandlall is well aware that before any such move can be made that judgment would first have to be granted by the Court of Law after which a demand notice will be sent to the bank requiring the owed amount be remitted to the Authority. Fairness and the principles of natural justice are observed at all times.

It should be noted that throughout the entire process the Taxpayer will be informed. Hence, Mr. Nandlall’s argument is severely flawed. The legislations are in place to assist and improve compliance with demands issued by the GRA for outstanding payments. As a senior member of the legal profession and a former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, and a present Member of Parliament, one would expect Mr. Nandlall to be balanced in his letters to the press rather than peddle misinformation to the general public.

The amendments of 2017 exist merely to buttress provisions that were already in force, a fact that presumably ought not to have escaped the notice of a person of Mr. Nandlall’s standing.

It is irresponsible and mischievous for Mr. Nandlall to attempt to mislead the public in such a manner and the GRA wishes to strongly denounce such remarks.

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