LRA, LCC Lawyers Bow in US$1M Tax Evasion Case

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Lawyers representing both the Liberia Revenue Authority (LAR) and the Liberia Communications Corporation (LCC) battling over US$1m tax evasion case have started complying with the order of the Tax Court days after they vowed not to do so.

Their compliance came after the Supreme Court denied the LRA request to review Judge Mozart Chesson’s ruling.

Associate Justice Philip Banks who delivered the High Court’s opinion instructed Judge Chesson to resume jurisdiction over the case and to proceed according to law in the face of Chesson’s ruling ordering the parties to re-file the appropriate papers.

Initially, Judge Chesson ruled that there were procedural and law errors in the legal papers filed at the Court and instructed the parties to re-file them, which they refused to do and instead went to the High Court for redress.

The case started when the LRA accused the LCC of failing to pay taxes on its expatriate salaries and other taxes in the amount of over US$1m.

LCC denied the allegation and filed an appeal before the Board of Tax Appeal (BOTA)  and the board rendered its decision.

BOTA is a legal body established to hear complaint filed against government agencies by tax payers.

However, BOTA’s decision did not satisfy the LRA which then took an appeal before the Tax Court to review BOTA’s decision.

It was the appeal papers both parties filed at the court that Judge Chesson said were marked with errors and demanded that both parties re-file their documents.

LRA lawyers rejected the decision to refile and appealed to the High Court to issue a writ of certiorari against Judge Chesson, which Justice Banks denied.

He mandated Judge Chesson to make sure that the lawyers re-file their appropriate papers before deciding the matter.

A writ of certiorari is an order a higher court issues in order to review the decision and proceedings of a lower court and determine whether there were any irregularities.

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