-Court orders refund of US$357,691 excess charges
Having legally established that the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) inflated the tax obligation of Bridgeway Corporation, the Tax Court at the Temple of Justice has ruled that the LRA must refund the excess charge of US$187,019.47 plus additional interest of US$170,871.85, totaling US$357,691. 32.
Judge Mozart Chesson, who confirmed the initial guilty verdict of the Board of Tax Appeals (BOTA) against the LRA subsequently declared that “Bridgeway Corporation is entitled to the refund that includes interest in the amount of US$US$357,691.32.”
Prior to Chesson’s judgment, Bridgeway Corporation had complained to the BOTA, arguing that the LRA contravened the Revenue Code by applying the tax rate that was amended by the Legislature and the LRA computed Goods and Service tax at 10% and Excise Tax rate at 80%, instead of the 7% and 35% respectively on the consignment of cigarettes the corporation imported in 2016.
The consignment was imported between November and December 2016 into the country, of which the LRA used the Goods and Service tax at 10% and Excise Tax rate at 80% to compute them.
The case started in early January 2017 when the Bridgeway Corporation wrote the Liberia Revenue Authority, requesting a refund for excess Excise tax and Goods and Service Tax paid on three containers of cigarettes imported into the country, amounting to US$187,019.47.
However, the LRA contended that it would not refund the money because the Bridgeway Corporation had initially charged the excess tax of US$187,019.47 to its customers by increasing the price of the cigarettes as allegedly reflected in the corporation’s sale accounts. Bridgeway Corporation resisted this claim before first filing the complaint about the refund to the Broad of Tax Appeal (BOTA), which had earlier ruled against Bridgeway Corporation.