Friday, October 23, 2009

GRA issues arrest warrant for Roopan Ramotar and five others

GRA issues arrest warrant for Roopan Ramotar and five others

Posted By Stabroek staff On October 23, 2009 @ 5:18 am In Local News | 24 Comments

The Guyana Revenue Authority has issued arrest warrants for six persons charged with the breach of tax laws including contractor Roopan Ramotar.

In a press release yesterday it said it had charged several persons with failing to file Income Tax, Property Tax and Value Added Tax returns and 346 matters are pending in the courts, five of which are before the appellate court, while arrest warrants have been issued for six others. The six are Lloyd Rose of 5-6 Eccles Industrial Site, East Bank Demerara; Jaipaul Rampersaud of Lot 3 Bel Air, Blygezight, Georgetown; Joyclyn Bentick of 85 William Street, Kitty; Tacquin Soochan of 34 King Street, Georgetown; Roopan Ramotar of 10 Spring Gardens, Essequibo Coast and Chetram Jagatnarine of 20 Canefield Settlement, East Canje Berbice.

The GRA said in a news release that over the past nine and a half months 21 persons have been convicted for various infringements of the tax laws.

Other offences for which persons have been charged include failure to remit taxes deducted from employees earnings, failure to pay income tax, and intent to defraud the state by dealing in uncustomed goods and harbouring and storing uncustomed goods.

Under Section 216 of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01 persons who knowingly deal in uncustomed goods or harbour same with intent to defraud the revenue of any duties thereon will be liable to a fine of treble the value of the goods and one year imprisonment and the respective goods forfeited, the GRA stated.

Further, persons who file returns or pay taxes after the due date are required by law to pay a penalty of two percent of the tax assessed.

And where the Commissioner-General has issued a demand notice to a taxpayer for the submission of a return, a penalty of five percent of the tax assessed will apply if the return is not submitted within the time specified in the notice.

According to the GRA, interest is charged on all late payments of taxes at the prime lending rate as published by the Bank of Guyana, plus 500 basis points and is applied to the total principal tax due or payable, and which includes penalties which form part of the tax assessed.

Commissioner-General of the GRA Khurshid Sattaur said the agency will impose and enforce penalties in accordance with the law, noting that a number of taxpayers continue to break the law despite being served with notices.

He said further that persons should not even attempt to use ignorance as an excuse given the huge sums spent yearly to produce thousands of printed materials that are distributed to taxpayers and the general public at various forums.

Moreover, he pointed out that many radio and television programmes have been produced by the GRA to make taxpayers aware of their obligations under the tax laws.

However, there is blatant disregard for the law as many persons repeatedly commit the same offence, Sattaur observed.
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