Consumption taxes must be reimbursed- Banks DIH assures shareholders

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By Mark Murray

Banks DIH Limited Managing Director, Clifford Reis has given all assurance that the company will ensure that it is rightfully repaid its overdue consumption taxes from the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).

“Banks DIH Limited is entitled my fellow shareholders to repayment of all monies overpaid together with interest there on” he told a gathering at the beverage company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the weekend.

Reis assured stakeholders that the company will be maintaining its position in the issue of reimbursement from the Revenue Authority.

Shareholder, Malcolm DeFreitas complemented Banks DIH Limited for its investment over the years which he says is now bearing fruits. He also expressed he pleasure in the latest court action by the company to seek such refunds.

Malcolm said, “As a ‘constitutionalist’ it is indeed a major disadvantage to the shareholders of this company when we are not treated with equality that is expressed in the law, I am happy to see that the Board has recognised that and has done something towards it.”

Reis was questioned by the local media about the possibility of the company winning the current court case and what this means for stakeholders to which he said “I cannot discuss it honestly speaking, it’s sub judice, it’s improper to discuss a case in the court before a judgement…I can’t predict win or lose or draw, I can’t do that.”

According to Reis, it is on the grounds of constitutional redress that Banks DIH Limited will be pursuing the matter.

Banks DIH Limited has since filed a lawsuit against GRA for over 28Billion dollars for what the company described as an over payment of consumption taxes because of a mistake in the law centred on a Court of Appeal judgment by its competitor.

The Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams has already signalled government’s intention to fight the matter that was brought against GRA.

Banks DIH filed a legal suit against the GRA claiming GYD$28.4B in overpaid consumption taxes.

According to the court documents which were shown to the media, Banks DIH is declaring that it paid $12.8B in consumption taxes for the period 2001- 2006, which is an overpayment of over $9B when compared to DDL’s payment for the said period and which was deemed a mistake following a Court of Appeal Judgment in 2008.

However, Williams said “You can’t sit on your rights and hope that the cost will keep increasing and keep increasing and then you come ten years later”, implying that the time to file such claims has passed. The Attorney General said, “you have three months within which if you paid if you overpaying tax, you have three months within which you must bring an action.”

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