Current Affairs

Current Affairs




Gov't nets $634 M from GCT breaches
Observer Reporter
Thursday, April 03, 2003



THE Government has recovered $634.43 million from breaches of the General Consumption Tax (GCT) Act, representing a 64 per cent success rate for the cases investigated last year.

During the period, 984 audits and 33 investigations were carried out and 904 breaches of the GCT Act were discovered. These were valued at just over $1 million, according to leader of government business in the Senate, Burchell Whiteman.

Whiteman, who supplied the figures, last week, in response to questions from Government Senator Trevor Munroe, said despite several arrests, no one has been imprisoned under the GCT Act in the last five years.

"Persons may have served a specific time in the event that they reneged on the stipulation by the Court after judgment was awarded against them," the Senator explained.

He added that there were currently no breaches before the Courts and the average time-period for trials of this nature was three to four years. The average time between charges being laid and the cases being concluded in the Courts, Whiteman added, depended on issues raised during the trial.

In relation to breaches of the Customs Act, Senator Whiteman noted, there were four cases of fraud before the Courts, involving $205 million. He said the duty evaded and penalties applied to these cases amounted to $79.5 million, adding that last year, some 1,154 persons and companies opted for a mitigated penalty.