IRB denies malice and political interference behind bankruptcy against Najib

KUALA LUMPUR (June 11): The Inland Revenue Board today denied in the High Court here that there was malice on its part in filing a bankruptcy notice against former PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak for owing RM 1.69 billion in taxes to the government.

Senior tax adviser Norhisham Ahmad said that since obtaining the court judgment on July 22, 2020 to recover Najib’s tax arrears, the agency had waited about six months to file Najib’s bankruptcy notice, which ‘she served him in April of this year.

“It took us almost eight months from the High Court order of July 22 for us to implement it, and there had been no (Najib’s attempt to initiate) discussions. with the IRB on its means of settling the sum. It is a normal situation when you owe an overdue amount you have to pay.

“We were in no rush to file the bankruptcy notice. We deny that there was a political motive for this. There was no political interference. People have been wondering since July 2020 (about the IRB’s recovery of this sum), and we have been seen to do nothing with the judgment. The people said we were sitting on judgment. So after there was no response, we filed a bankruptcy notice, ”Norhisham said.

He was responding to an allegation by Najib’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah that the documents were served on Najib two days after his client said he was withdrawing Umno’s support for the Perikatan Nasional government led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Norhisham and Shafee were appearing before High Court Judge Datuk Ahmad Bache. Najib, who is also the MP for Pekan, calls for the suspension of Judge Ahmad’s ruling on July 22, which allowed the IRB to issue a summary judgment against the politician, forcing him to pay back taxes .

Read: High Court orders Najib to pay RM 1.69 billion in additional taxes to government

Shafee said there are special circumstances for the High Court to grant a stay, as the hearing for his client’s appeal was set for Wednesday, June 16 at the Court of Appeal, while his appeal to the Special Commissioner for Income Tax (SCIT) has been set for July 27.

“My client stands to lose a lot if he is declared bankrupt, as he would lose his seat, (and) he has pending lawsuits against him which he may need to consult with the Insolvency Department from time to time.” . He would also lose his pension and his properties would be auctioned off.

“The IRB would not be prejudiced if this tribunal allowed a stay as the situation would remain the status quo, pending appeal,” Shafee added.

Norhisham, however, told the court that there would have been no move by the former prime minister to settle the executed judgment, as the latter had requested an adjournment of his appeal to the SCIT since December of last year. .

“We told the SCIT that the additional fee could not be revised. We said that they had received the notice and that they had not contested the service of the notice of assessment and that he must therefore pay, ”he added.

Doesn’t make sense that Najib would make more than RM7 billion in income

Shafee, meanwhile, told the court that they are challenging the IRB’s method of calculating to assess RM 1.4 billion in back taxes, which has now become RM 1.69 billion.

“That should mean my client earns five times the amount or more than RM7 billion between 2011 and 2017, which is pretty laughable.

“They (the IRB) have also not shown where they got the said RM 7 billion figure from. We say that our client has the right to challenge this calculation made either in the SCIT or in court. later, ”said lead counsel.

Shafee also said that the IRB misled this tribunal by saying that the summary judgment rendered by this tribunal was not a final decision, as they later said it was a final decision and enforceable when they have filed the bankruptcy notice with the High Insolvency Court.

“The IRB has put hot and cold in what they’re saying. Here they said it was not final, but in Insolvency they said it was final. We are requesting a stay here as it would have a serious impact on our client until the appeal is heard, ”Shafee said.

Shafee also denied that his client was sitting and doing nothing about the taxes owed, and produced letters written by his client’s tax accountant and his law firm to SCIT, which he forwarded to the legal department and to the IRB task force for their review. .

Judge Ahmad said he would deliver his ruling on Monday, June 14 at 1 p.m.

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