Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) today announced that an amicable settlement has been reached with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) to resolve a long standing dispute over Consumption Tax that began in 2002.
This settlement, the company said follows an extended legal battle with 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 (five billion, three hundred and ninety-two million, twenty thousand seven hundred and fifty-three dollars).
This assessment was immediately challenged in the High Court by DDL through its lawyers Miles Fitzpatrick, S.C. and Timothy Jonas.
In 2002 DDL had raised a legal challenge against the GRA on the methodology 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, which the Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed.
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 G$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 “DDL was pleased with the enlightened approach adopted by the GRA in December 2015 which recently concluded in the settlement of the matter between the parties.