- DDL made first payment on settlement amount total of 1.5 BillionDispute began in 2002
- Dispute began in 2002
Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) announced, yesterday, that an amicable settlement has been reached with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRD) to resolve a long standing dispute over Consumption Tax that began in 2002.
This settlement follows an extended legal battle between DDL and GRA arising out of the Consumption Tax assessment levied against DDL by then Commissioner General Kurshid Sattaur in January, 2009, in the sum of $5,392,020,753. This assessment was immediately challenged in the High Court by DDL through its lawyers Miles Fitzpatrick, S.C. and Timothy Jonas.
DDL and GRA were able to recommence negotiations for a resolution of the methodology for a calculation of Consumption Tax (and its successor, Excise Tax), and have now been able to arrive at consensus to fully and finally settle all claims by the GRA and liability by DDL for both Consumption and Excise tax up to March 9, 2016 in the sum of $1.5B. This sum is payable over twelve months. DDL, in good faith, very recently effected payment of $100M in compliance with the settlement terms.
The statement said that, in 2002, DDL had raised a legal challenge against the GRA on the methodoly adopted by the latter for the assessment of Consumption tax.
In February 2005, the High Court found in favour of DDL. The GRA subsequently appealed that decision and on July 31, 2008, the Guyana Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed GRA’s Appeal.
Following the dismissal of the appeal, the GRA commenced a new assessment in August 2008 and, notwithstanding attempts by the parties at resolving the matter, on January 16, 2009 GRA issued a new claim in the crippling amount of Gy$5.392 billion. On DDL’s application in 2009, the High Court issued an Order Nisi pending the hearing of the matter.
DDL Chairman Komal Samaroo said that “DDL was always committed to a resolution of the matter with the GRA despite the many failed attempts at settlement.” The Chairman added that, “DDL was pleased with the enlightened approach adopted by the GRA in December 2015 which recently culminated in settlement of the matter between the parties.”