Sunday 15 September, 2019

Ramlogan: Property tax case to go to Privy Council

Former attorney general Anand Ramlogan says the present legal matter concerning the property tax valuation form may be taken to the Privy Council.

In a statement, Ramlogan, who represents former government minister Devant Maharaj in the case against the Commissioner of Valuations, reminded citizens that they do not have to submit the forms.

“No, you do NOT have to submit any form. Yes, you can safely ignore the request.”

“The headline should be "NO DUTY TO FILE, but you can if you want to volunteer",” Ramlogan said.

“The Court of Appeal made this clear in its ruling and hence the order for there to be newspaper advertisements clarifying that the process is a voluntary one which you have the right to ignore.”

“You have the option to share personal information about your property by filing your form if you want but you can equally ignore the request.”

“This case is on the way to the Privy Council so your best bet is to relax and ignore them,” he said.

He added that there is no penalty or sanction for non-compliance as citizens are not under any legal duty to file the forms.

On Monday the Finance Ministry said that citizens are free to submit the forms on a voluntary basis and that the Ministry’s Valuation Division Offices would be open to receive any forms and supporting documents from Monday.

The Ministry added that failure to submit forms would not result in any sanctions.

Last Wednesday, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the State, overturning a ruling by Justice Frank Seepersad on whether the State could continue to accept Property Tax valuation return forms from citizens.

In its ruling, the Appeal Court stated that Justice Seepersad should not have granted the interim orders against the implementation of the Property Tax.

The Valuations Commission was ordered to publish notices in the country’s daily newspapers informing the public that the submission process is voluntary, and failure to do so would not attract any penalties.

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