English | Dzongkha Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Should the government appeal?

Nov 26, 2010

The Prime Minister Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y. Thinely said the government is yet to decide whether or not to appeal the vehicle tax revision case to the Supreme Court. The high court decided that the tax revision was unconstitutional. The Prime Minister said this was not what the government had expected.

The government has till December 1 to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y. Thinely said though the government received the verdict with respect and humility, the High Court has taken the taxation policy in totality not taking into consideration the direct and indirect taxes.

“We need to be mindful that there are two kinds of taxes. One is of the direct kind and another is of the indirect kind. Once you are included in the direct tax net everybody is obligated to pay what is due or what is assessed. Nobody can get out of it, therefore, any alterations in the payment of direct tax must require the due approval, consideration and decision through legislation of the parliament. That is very clear in our laws. Indirect tax, it is essential of the kind where every citizen has a choice. Firstly to engage in the act, engage in Purchase, engage in acquisition whereby he or she will have to pay taxes. That choice is with individual to buy or not to buy or to have or not to have. The high court took the taxes in totality and did not differentiate between direct and indirect taxes”, said the Prime Minister.

The verdict was passed by the High Court on November 18. According to the verdict, the tax revision was unconstitutional and directed the government to discontinue it.

The High Court even asked the government to refund all taxes collected from the public as a result of the revised taxation. But that will depend on whether the government decides to appeal to the Supreme Court.

“The government respects the judgment of the high court. Yet at the same time respecting the verdict of the high court does not mean that we cannot appeal against it, that choice is still with the government. The government is still in the process of discussing and deliberating on whether there would be advantage or merit or whether there would be necessity to appeal. We have 10 working days and its ends on the 1st of December, so it is a matter that we are considering very seriously”, Prime Minister said.

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