GTT has to pay its fair share of outstanding taxes – GRA Boss

Kaieteur News

Feb 01, 2020

Commissioner-General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Godfrey Statia, is insisting that the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) has to pay its fair share of taxes which are outstanding since 1991.

GRA Boss, Godfrey Statia

At a press conference held yesterday, the tax chief said that if he allows the company to pay just a portion of it, then he would have to engage in such settlements with all taxpayers.
His comments in this regard followed questions by this newspaper as to what action it intends to take since Atlantic Tele-Networks Inc. (ATNI), which has an 80 percent stake in GTT, had told the Securities Exchange Commission in the USA of the matter.
ATNI in its 2019 filing to the SEC noted that GTT is also involved in several legal claims with the Guyana Revenue Authority dating back to 1991. ATNI said that the disputed tax assessments amount to $44.1 million. But it does not agree with this.
Kaieteur News was told by the GRA boss that indeed GTT had objected to the assessment and it is before the court. In the meantime, GTT, he said, has offered to pay a reduced sum, but he is not accepting this.
The tax chief said, “…They were trying to negotiate a settlement and I told them ‘No it should be negotiated based on tax principles, because you are looking at consistent treatment of all taxpayers and if you negotiate with one you have to do it with all.’ And we are still stuck at that stage.”
Statia said the court has given both sides a chance to see if an agreement can be reached, but the Commissioner-General is adamant that he cannot agree to something that would see a large reduction in taxes for the nation.