The Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority, Godfrey Statia, in a statement today, accused the Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo of peddling statements that are misleading and that are filled with innuendos and allegations of fraud.
The GRA boss believes the statements are meant to create public mischief, and tarnish the efforts at rebuilding the reputation of the revenue collection agency.
The statement from the GRA Commissioner General came in wake of the Opposition Leader repeatedly over the past few weeks accusing the GRA of fraudulently transferring seized luxury vehicles to friends and families of members of the current government.
The GRA has denied the claim.
The Commissioner General in his statement today made specific reference to two vehicles that were sold by the GRA after being seized from an importer who dodged taxes.
The tax boss said the vehicles were eight years old and the seizure took place in December last year and not May this year as the Opposition Leader stated. Additionally, the GRA official explained that because of the two vehicles losing value, the GRA disposed of them in keeping with the Customs Act.
Mr. Statia said he would not regularly respond to statements made by political leaders, but he thought it best to respond to the ones made by the Opposition Leader since they seek to discredit the entire agency.
Mr. Statia said that Mr. Jagdeo as the Opposition Leader has a moral and legal obligation to ensure the safety or well-being of others and follow the laws of Guyana by not encouraging officers of the GRA to break their strict duty of confidentiality.
The GRA boss said what Jagdeo should be doing is honouring his tax obligations like every other citizen.
“He is reminded that contrary to his earlier statements in the press that he is not required to, he has an obligation to file his tax returns and declare his income from all sources rather that sheltering under the veil of presidential immunity. Section 13 of the Income Tax Act clearly states that only the official emoluments shall be so exempt”, Mr. Statia said.