The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has placed political activist and columnist Freddie Kissoon on blast for his alleged inappropriate behaviour and “verbal abuse” towards the Executive Assistant of the Commissioner-General, Godfrey Statia.
Kissoon who wrote negatively about Statia’s leadership of GRA in one of his weekly Kaieteur news columns complained about having to wait with others for hours to at the City Mall where a drop off center was supposed to be set up at a certain time to submit tax returns, but in this case it wasn’t set up on time.
GRA, while apologizing for not setting up shop earlier, called out Kissoon for his treatment of their staff when he phoned into the Secretariat to speak with the Commissioner-General.
According to GRA “After being inconvenienced, Mr. Kissoon contacted the Secretariat where he launched a verbal abuse, ordering Ms. Boyce to “shut up and listen me.” He then proceed to berate the Commissioner-General and resorted to the use of foul language shouting that ‘Statia lived overseas for many years and he came his a$$ back here to continue the same [email protected] as Mr. Sattaur and the others…'”
See GRA’s full statement below:
The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has noted with some concern the article penned by Mr. Freddie Kissoon in the Thursday, April 27, 2017 edition of the Kaieteur newspaper under the heading ‘From Sattaur to Statia: the unpleasant story of Guyana.’
Firstly, the GRA admits that there was a delay in the commencement of its Tax Sites on Tuesday April 25, 2017 and takes this opportunity to sincerely apologise to all Taxpayers who were inconvenienced by this unforeseeable delay, and to let you know that the GRA understands the frustrations of the taxpaying public including Mr. Kissoon as a result of the delay. The GRA intends to introduce Electronic filing in time for 2018 which we hope will minimize and alleviate these problems.
However, in Mr. Kissoon’s column he neglected to inform the public of his subsequent disrespect to the office of the Commissioner-General and the verbal abuse which was subsequently meted out to Ms. Boyce by none other than himself.
After being inconvenienced, Mr. Kissoon contacted the Secretariat where he launched a verbal abuse, ordering Ms. Boyce to “shut up and listen me.” He then proceed to berate the Commissioner-General and resorted to the use of foul language shouting that “Statia lived overseas for many years and he came his a$$ back here to continue the same [email protected] as Mr. Sattaur and the others…”
Any attempt by Ms. Boyce to speak was greeted by Mr. Kissoon shouting for her to “shut up.” After informing Ms. Boyce that he was heading to the Headquarters, he informed her that she should “get her backside out of the office and collect it from him.” He then requested her cellular number. When this was refused another round of verbal abuse began. This was not the end of Mr. Kissoon’s disrespectful conduct, however, space would not permit for it to be written in its entirety. Needless to say Ms. Boyce was not the only staff at the receiving end of Mr. Kissoon’s vile attack and despite his abrasive behaviour, efforts were still made to facilitate the collection of his tax returns.
Over the years the GRA, in its effort to provide added convenience to the taxpayers, have established tax sites countrywide during the busy tax period in an effort at the congestion at its various offices. The agency has even taken to establishing the sites a number of weeks before the submission due date of tax returns to ensure the convenience offered will be utilized in a timely manner. Taxpayers are often encouraged to submit their returns prior to the due dates thereby avoiding the last minute rush. Nonetheless, it is our observation that there are thousands of Taxpayers who submit their returns late and in some instances through no fault of their own, with some employers distributing the 7B slips to the employees at the last moment. This last minute rush results in long lines.
Despite the inconvenience experienced by the delayed start on Tuesday which we are once again apologizing for, there is no justification for Mr. Kissoon’s abuse. Mr. Kissoon has many admirers. He is considered an independent thinker, and may have sometimes suffered for his stand. His articles create national and international discourse. It is unfortunate therefore that such a person can descend to such a level of indecency, where he felt it was acceptable to berate and abuse public servants and then simultaneously try to manipulate the situation to garner public sympathy. This leaves a lot to be desired from defender of the downtrodden.
We strongly condemn his abuse and an apology for same is expected.