Fmr Housing Minister denies $40M tax evasion on vehicles

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Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) and point man on finance Irfaan Ali
Former Minister of Housing, Irfaan Ali.
Former Minister of Housing, Irfaan Ali.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Former Minister of Housing, Irfaan Ali has taken to his Facebook Page to vent his frustration that the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) will be seeking to institute taxes on a vehicle he acquired during his time in office.

iNews understands that the taxes include duties on two luxury vehicles which Ali imported within the last five years. As is stipulated by law, government Ministers and Parliamentarians are entitled to tax waivers on vehicles.

According to the law, “A member of Parliament maybe entitled to one or two motor vehicles for every sitting of Parliament.” Further, section 23 (c) of the Customs Act states: “The eligible Public Officer, members of Parliament or qualifying re-migrant transfers or leases the motor vehicle prior to the expiration of three years in the case of a used vehicle and five years in the case of a new vehicle.”

According to the former government Minister he was informed by a senior GRA official that instructions were given to institute taxes on motor vehicle he acquired as a Member of Parliament in the 10th Parliament.

Ali maintains that the importation was legally done.

“This concession was recommended and approved by all the relevant authority. I was shocked when this officer approached me on Friday night after the Parliament to inform me that I will be receiving a letter from GRA on Monday asking me to pay taxes on this vehicle. I said it before and I will restate it, the witch hunting and vindictive action aimed at members of the former Government will not move me and my convictions,” Ali wrote on his Facebook Page.

He posted a letter which he received from GRA, dated March 3, 2014 and signed by Commissioner General of the GRA, Khurshid Sattaur, informing him that his request for tax exemptions on the two vehicles were granted, given the fact that he was last granted tax waivers on March 04, 2011 during the 9th Parliament.

“All my actions have been consistently within the laws of Guyana and as such I am putting the country on notice that these targeted actions to silence me will not succeed. I am prepared to deal with and have all the documents to justify the stated facts. I anxiously await the purported letter. I have nothing to hide or fear so would never succumb to any threats,” the former government Minister noted.

It should be noted also that the 2014 letter from GRA informed Ali that since the motor vehicle he imported in 2011 was under four years, he will be not be able to transfer it unless the pro – rated taxes are paid.

16 COMMENTS

  1. According to the law, “A member of Parliament maybe entitled to one or two motor vehicles for every sitting of Parliament.” Further, section 23 (c) of the Customs Act states: “The eligible Public Officer, members of Parliament or qualifying re-migrant transfers or leases the motor vehicle prior to the expiration of three years in the case of a used vehicle and five years in the case of a new vehicle.” So much un-qualify people in this collusion government ; they can not even interpret the law. However let them enjoy the witch hunting while it last.

  2. They, the pppc, are in disbelief for they are now being audit by one of their own. He cant cover the thiefary that’s been going for decades. So they will shout loud for their supporters to join them but even they, their supporters, are fed up with the lies and deciet. It shows in the protest they tried to muscle up for election and Gecom etc.

  3. I’m so tired of you people who go around saying the government is witch hunting. Dnt you people have no shame. The evidence is in front of you day after day and you cried the same.

  4. AH! Cut the shit. If they haven’t thief, then there’s nothing to worry about. investigating currouption is not witch hunt. Stop being bios and be fear. This is not a PPPC or APNU/AFC campaign strategy. It investigation that protecting the assets of the state and tax payers . Are you blind to all that have been taken?

  5. Whilst it is of good therapeutic benefit to vent, almost all that have posted before me have not addressed

    (1) how come the former Minister’s documentation paper trail varies from the Official GRA ?
    (2) If those professional functionaries with the GRA were given a political directive the first thing to do was to review the documentation, make an assessment within the legal framework
    (3) ensure compliance (4) brief the subject Minister.

    One has to assume this was done before the former Minister was extended the courtesy of being informed as it appears to be.

    We may come back to a “red herring” in the prevalent corruption allegations that was an obvious factor to the voting out of the PPP/C Government. I am fast coming to the conclusion that the lack of political will on part of the PPP/C government to have held the local government elections have led to the state of affairs whereby the democratic institutions were undermined, the local communities were in efficient, corruption did take place at that level, and people became very frustrated. Just look at region 6. It was the PPP supporters who voted them out….look at region 2 same thing….

    The biggest failure of the PPP/C I submit was the failure to have proceeded with local government elections and allegations of corruption and cronyism etc became the battle cry…. On the contrary what we may find true is that the previous high level functionaries did not rise up to a more formal way of carrying themselves as we may have been accustomed to in the colonial era and under Executive President Burnham. This is perception. The PPP as a supposedly disciplined Party failed to monitor, address and discipline its members who were found wanting.

    The hierarchy of the PPP after the death Dr Jagan and Mrs Jagan have to accept full responsibility for that state of affairs. They should not continue to bear those responsibilities now. They failed the PPP and the populace who voted or supported them one way or another.

  6. This lil manish bai! Well, well, well! Most people are not surprised! Let criminal-minded people call it “witch hunt”. I will continue to call it “Justice Hunt.”

  7. When all is said and done I hope you have that big talk when accountability time comes.in trying to explain the acquisition of that mansion, pool and other luxuries which seem inconsistent with your earnings, Just remember that income declared in your prior tax filings will have to be consistent with your recently acquired riches. Here in the US you would have been under the IRS microscope for possible TAX EVASION.

    GRA should take a peep at your file.

  8. people must condemn thieves, crooks and people who carry out state orders to murder innocent civilians and the ppp sent you out to peddle its propaganda but you have to come really good to fool the guyanese public. you as well as myself and all mainstream guyanese know you slime balls who peddle nponsense outta freedumb house

  9. THESE FELLAS HAVE NOTHING CONSTRUCTIVE TO OFFER THE GUYANESE PEOPLE , HANCE THEIR RESORT TO WITCH HUNTING. HOW LONG WILL THIS FOOLISHNESS LAST? ONLY GOD IN HEAVEN KNOWS.

  10. Why is a GRA official meeting with Irfaan Ali after parliamentary sitting to inform him he will be receiving a letter stating he owes taxes on his vehicle? Something is fishy here and Ali should first inquire of the GRA if this is so before he goes on his jackass tirade about witch-hunting.
    Stop hiding behind the witch-hunting mask for every single action the coalition will take to right the wrongs of the PPP regime.
    I dare the PPP and its media associates do a study to determine how many PPP appointees were let go and how many have been retained so we can see if there is a ground for this witch-hunting song and dance.

  11. you corrupt ministers of the errant former ppp government are shouting about ethnic cleansing, witch hunting and all this other stuff because it is to prove yourselves innocent in the court of public opinion and all of you hope that when the parade starts and the local and international communities get to see ex-ministers handcuffed and going to court, those that you pander to will create a rochous but the courts won’t be defied and justice will be served.

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