MRA seals off Mike Appel over K1.2bn tax
The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) yesterday seized property and sealed off offices belonging to motor vehicle supplying company, Mike Appel and Gatto Limited, over the company’s failure to remit about K1.2 billion in taxes.
In reaction to the move, legal counsel for the company, Frank Mbeta, obtained a stay order to stop the execution pending the determination of the company’s application for waiver of taxes before the Commissioner General or until further order of the court.
But the order came when the tax collecting body had already executed the move.
According to the distraint certificate which MRA Commissioner General Tom Malata signed, the company is said to have failed to remit a total of K1,236,036,927. 20 of domestic taxes.
The Authority officers were seen taking away about eight top-of-the-range vehicles from the company’s headquarters in Limbe before sealing the offices.
MRA issued a distraint certificate to the company on Friday, February 26 2016, after the court had thrown out the company’s application against the tax collecting body.
MRA spokesperson Steve Kapoloma said the tax collecting body has been reminding the company of its tax obligation but the management has not been complying.
“So, we have followed rules as per the Taxation and Value Added Tax (VAT) acts that we have to distrain only when taxpayer is not committed to remit the tax.
“It has been quite a while. We have been fighting with them in court and today the court allowed us to proceed with this kind of exercise,” Kapoloma said.
He said MRA has targeted all Mike Appel and Gatto offices across the country as property seized from the headquarters will not be enough for K1.2 billion.
“That’s why this operation has gone countrywide. Our officers are in Lilongwe and they are also here in Blantyre,” he said.
Kapoloma said he was not aware of any order stopping the Authority from taking action as per earlier court order.
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