Liberia: Mining Company Found Liable For Over US$2.6m Taxes Owed Government
MONROVIA – The Tax Court has found Afric Diam, a mining company, liable of over US$2 million in debt to the government of Liberia. The debt was accrued due to the company’s failure to settle its tax obligations to the government.
The court’s ruling comes as a result of an audit report from Cllr. Dickson Doe was appointed to serve as referee for the Court to settle millions of United States Dollars in diamond controversy between the Liberia Revenue Authority and Afric Diam Company Incorporated.
Cllr. Doe who is regarded as an expert in auditing was mandated to analyze the total value of diamonds that was exported by Afric Diam Company Incorporated after the Liberia Revenue Authority and the Government Diamond Officer provided conflicting accounts to the Court.
Cllr. Doe’s finding led to Judge Ousman Feika’s June 24, 2022 ruling saying the US$2,670,000 constitute 25%corporate income tax liability on the F.O.B value of diamonds that were exported by the defendant between 2011 to 2015 with the relevant penalties.
Judge Feika’s ruling further said that the Court will not encourage any dilatory tactics aimed at impeding the collection of legitimate taxes from delinquent taxpayers.
“The purpose of taxation is not to overbear or impose on the taxpayer unnecessary and unwarranted tax liabilities but to assess and derive the actual tax due based on real numbers.
“The primary purpose of taxation is to raise revenue for the support of the government: that taxation is often employed as a device for regulation by means of which certain effects or conditions envisioned by the government, such as the building of roads, schools, hospitals, public buildings, payment of civil servants and another public employee,” the court noted.
Judge Feika’s ruling further stated that since tax liability is treated as a debt due the Government as provided by Section 12 of the Revenue Law, the Clerk was instructed to issue a payment order to the defendant to pay the amount within 72 hours.
Defense lawyers Cllr. Paul Jarvan took exception to the Court’s ruling with an announced an appeal to the Supreme Court consistent with Chapter 24, Section 24. 1 and 2 of the procedural law of Liberia.
Despite this, Cllr. Jarvan’s appeal to the High Court, Judge Feika said it will not serve as stay on the Court’s ruling.