Commissioner General v Yangtze Construction (CC 7 of 2019) [2023] SCSC 570 (28 July 2023)


Recovery of Revenue under Section 21(1) of the Revenue Administration Act 2009

Case summary

Judgment in favour of the plaintiff as prayed for in paragraphs (a) and (b) of the prayer of the plaint, dated the 16th April 2019 which includes cost


  1. The plaintiff who is empowered to maintain an action in court to recover unpaid revenue under Section 21(1) of the Revenue Administration Act 2009,  filed a plaint dated 16th April 2019 against the defendant seeking the following reliefs:
  1. For an order that the said amount of SR 23,724,472.74 be paid to the plaintiff by the defendant.
  2. For the costs and:
  3. For such other and further relief as your lordship’s court shall deem fit.
  1. It is averred in the plaint that the said sum is due and owing to the plaintiff, the Commissioner General, for non-settlement of tax arrears or outstanding taxes by the defendant company. This has resulted in a cause of action arising for the plaintiff against the defendant. Accordingly, the plaintiff has filed this action to recover the said sum from the defendant together with costs. The outstanding taxes to be recovered are contained in paragraph 20 of the plaint which when summarised read as follows:

2013 Default Business Tax Assessment                                    ---SR   13,727,503.63

2014 Default Business Tax Assessment                                    ---SR   1,625,225.78

2013 Income Tax assessment                                                    ---SR   1,445,597.93

2014 Income Tax Assessment                                                   ---SR   831,530.97

2013 Corporate Social Responsibility                                       ---SR   698,119.28

2014 Corporate Social Responsibility                                       ---SR   99,566.54

2014 VAT Default Assessments                                               ---SR   3,662,925.94

2015 VAT Default Assessments                                               ---SR   702,974.32

2016 VAT Default Assessments                                               ---SR   931,028.35

                                                                                  Total                    ---SR 23,724,472.74

  1. The defendant in his defence dated 15 October 2019 raised pleas in limine litis in that:
  1. The claim is not competent before the Court for being res judicata, the same matter between the same parties having been previously litigated before the Supreme Court of Seychelles.
  2. The claims, parts thereof are prescribed by law.
  1. The defence filed further prayed that Court:
  1. Dismiss the case with costs for the Defendant.
  2. Make any other order deems fit in the circumstances of the case.

Evidence of the Plaintiff

  1. At the hearing, the plaintiff called Fabiola Alcindor, the Director for Enforcement at the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC). Her evidence and document P1 establishes that the defendant company Yangtze Construction Company (Pty) Ltd (hereinafter - Yangtze Construction) is a construction company that was registered in 1997 with the SRC and the name of the owner of the business was Zihai Yang. The tax payer ID used by the company was 1-6046-25. The registered address given is Anise Aux Pins and PO Box numbers 137 and 1280 have been given as addresses. The officer in charge of this company at that time was a Ms. Erica Laporte a tax agent.
  2. Witness produced P2 a letter written by Mr. Zihai Yang the public officer of the company Yangtze Construction, dated 29th August 2018, where he informed SRC that he disagreed with the assessments.  He also requested to meet the Commissioner for a meeting and explained that he is working with his tax agent to re-lodge the returns for the years 2013 to 2017.  He also pointed out that he was not trading in the period 2015 to 2017. Witness stated that  after receipt of this communication, Mr. Zihai Yang was informed by SRC that he was out of time to resubmit any documents as he had failed to do so on the given dates and as the SRC had already issued default assessment notification to the Yangtze Construction as far back as 2015. Witness testified that a default assessment is done by the audit Section of the SRC when the company fails to lodge the returns themselves.
  3. Witness produced P3 and P4 default assessment notifications dated 22 June 2015 for Business Tax returns for the years 2013 and 2014 for SCR 13,744,442.80 and SCR 1,625,225.78   respectively. Witness further testified that after she issued these notifications for the years 2013 and 2014, she did not receive any communication from Yangtze Construction in respect to these two notifications. These two notifications were issued to the Yangtze Construction to PO Box 847 which number was supplied by Yangtze Construction. The next document witness produced as P5, which is a Business Tax self-assessment tax return for the year 2011 which was lodged by Yangtze Construction. It is to be noted that the PO Box number given by Yangtze Construction in their own self- assessment P5 dated 30th October 2012 as their postal address for service of notices, is PO Box 847. Witness next produced document  with annexures, which is the Conclusion of the Audit letter dated  15th of June 2015 as P6 sent to inform the tax payer of the result of the audit for the period January 2013 and December 2014. The company had 60 days upon receipt to submit any objection to the said assessment. The said document P6 was also sent to the address given by the defendant company in document P5. However neither, Yangtze Construction or Zihai Yang responded to this letter.
  4. Witness produced document P7 (1 to 33), which indicates the outstanding VAT from Yangtze Construction for the period 2014 June to 2017 August. She stated that Yangtze Construction was informed of this outstanding liability in respect of VAT but failed to pay same. The documents are prepared by the Revenue Commissioner, by the VAT Unit and is sent a month after they failed to submit for the previous month. It is a monthly tax return. Witness testified that as per document P7 (1 to 33) the total amount of VAT that is outstanding from Yangtze Construction, including interest and penalties, for the year 2014 was SCR 3,662,925.94, for the year 2015  SCR 702,974.32 and for the year 2016 it was 931,028.35 and the total revenue due amounted to 23,724,472.74.
  5. Witness went on to produce document P8 and P9 which are notice of assessments for Corporate Responsibility Tax for the year 2013 and 2014 for the defendant Yangtze Construction Company. She explained that as the business of the defendant had a business turn-over of over of one million rupees and above, the defendant had to pay Corporate Responsibility Tax. The notice of assessment for the year 2013 for this tax for Yangtze Construction Company was issued on the 15th of June 2015 to the PO Box 847, the same PO Box given by the Yangtze Construction. The outstanding amount of the Corporate Responsibility Tax she stated is SCR 698,119.27 for the year 2013 and for the year 2014 is SCR 99,566.54. Yangtze Construction has not made any payment towards this assessment neither did the SRC receive any objections. Witness next produced the Statement of Unpaid Revenue as at March 2016 as P10. The total of unpaid revenue was SCR 33,490,659.17 and included all the unpaid taxes as set out in the document P10 as at March 2016. Witness testified that a letter was issued on the 21st March 2016 and the defendant was asked to pay by the 05th of April 2016 and it was also stated that if he had difficulty in paying, he should come forward and make certain arrangements with SRC.  The defendant did not make payment by 5th April 2016 nor did Mr. Zihai Yang come forward to meet the concerned officers at SRC to discuss the difficulty if he had. It is to be observed that this notice was sent to PO Box 1280 another number given as place where business is conducted as per document P1.
  6. Witness next produced P11 also  sent to PO Box 1280 which is a final notice issued by SRC on the 28th of April 2016 to the Yangtze Construction Company. The final notice is in respect of the unpaid revenue of SR 33,490,659.17 was sent to the defendant and he was informed that failure to make the payment within 7 days will result in formal legal action to recover the debt. The defendant did not contact the concerned officer of the SRC after. No payments were made nor did the defendant raise any objections.
  7. Thereafter an enforcement officer Ms Juliet Confiance sent Mr Zihai Yang a notice to attend an interview at the SRC office in relation to his non-payment of his revenue liabilities dated 24th of May 2016 (P12). An email was also sent P13 with attachments concerning same. Another notice to attend dated 7th June 2016 was also sent P14 together with an email dated 7th June 2016 (P15). The penalty for failure to respond to this notice to attend and give evidence is a fine of SR 50,000/-. As a result of him failing to attend, a notice of intention to prosecute was issued to the defendant (P16) dated 1st July 2016 and this was issued to the Public Officer of Yangtze Construction Company, Mr Zihai Yang. This was in respect of the claim for unpaid revenue amounting 33,490,659.17. It stated the defendant was given another 14 days to settle the debt before the SRC proceeds for prosecution. He was also invited to contact the office should he require any clarification or if he wanted to discuss the matter with the Assistant Commissioner. He was advised to book an appointment. The defendant did not follow instructions.
  8. Witness next produced document P17 which shows a breakdown of all the outstanding taxes of the tax payer as at 23rd August 2018. It is in reference to Yangtze Construction Company and witness went on to explain the breakdown of these liabilities as shown in the table in detail in her evidence. She also referred to the payments made by the defendant amounting to SR 2,639,701.91 paid by the defendant company which was also taken into consideration in their computation of the total amount owing. The total Primary Tax due was 23,794,633.79 and the Penalties imposed amounted to 13,214,856.63 totalling 37,009,490.42 SCR which was the amount of Tax payable to the SRC as at 23rd August 2018. It was for this amount of SR 37,009,490.42 that the second notice for intention to prosecute was sent to the defendant dated 23 August 2018 marked as P18.
  9. It was issued to Mr. Zihai Yang; the Public Officer of Yangtze Construction Company by the then prosecution. Upon issuing of the notice, the notice also stated that legal action will be taken against the defendant if SRC had not received any response by the 07th September 2018.  He was invited this time to discuss the matter with the Commissioner General. Mr. Zihai Yang did not respond to this notice of intention to prosecute nor did he make payment towards this notice. Witness testified that after that, SRC proceeded to lodge the case in court but not for the total amount of 37,009,490.42.  It was only for SR 4 Million. SRC won the case and received judgment for the case but still the defendant did not make any payment.
  10. Documents P19 refers to a meeting with Mr Yang on the 18th of August 2015 in respect of dishonoured cheques. He undertook to settle by November 2015.  P20 refers to a meeting held with Mr Yang on the 18th of March 2016 and P21 another meeting on 23rd of March 2016 in respect of Revenue Liabilities  he asks for an extension and in P21 he gives his word that he will clear all the cheques by 30th April 2016.  Document P22 marked are the minutes of meeting held on the 28th of August 2018 with the Assistant Commissioner, the supervisor for enforcement and the legal officer Ms. Derjacques and the lawyer of Mr Yang Mr. Ferley in regard to the payment of the judgment given in 2018 in respect of four million.  The lawyer of Mr. Yang wanted to know whether a negotiation could be made for the total payment by removing some penalties another meeting was fixed for the 4th of September 2018 but eventually it appears no payment was made. Mr Yang had also not preferred an appeal to the Revenue Tribunal.
  11. Witness further produced P24 a letter written by Yangtze Construction to the Revenue Commissioner in 2013 with reference to financial difficulties with a proposed payment plan with the dates, the amount of instalment. He did not make any payment. Witness produced P25 a table showing summary of the outstanding business tax liability for 2007 to 2008 as at 6 March 2013. The documents indicates the business tax owing is 2,584,977.65 and for Income tax and SSF arrears it is 11,213,132.13. Witness further produce P26 dated 01 September 2014, a document SRC received from Mr Yang for  Yangtze Construction in regards to the ‘Instalment payment of tax” and that he has said  paid  2,150,000.00  up to date and  cannot pay anymore and moves to reduce the payment  amount.
  12. The following documents P27 to P30 were letters sent to various institutions such as the Ministry of Finance, MCB Bank, Barclays Bank and Nouvobanq by the Revenue Commissioner under Section 24 of the Revenue Administration Act of 2009 where institutions holding money for the tax payer at the request of SRC have to pay 50 % of such money to the SRC forthwith to set off money owed by the tax payer to the SRC. Some money was recovered by the SRC from the Ministry of Finance, Barclays Bank and Nouvobanq. The next document produced by witness was P31 a document issued by the SRC to the defendant company that an overpayment of 1,527,495.02 made by him was not being refunded but credited to settle his outstanding Social Security Contribution amounting to 19,208.78 and OBT arrears amounting to 1,527,495.02. Another document P32 dated 15 June 2015 concerning default assessment done by the audit of the SRC as the defendant company had failed to send its returns for the year ending 2013 and 2014.


  1. In cross examination witness testified that Mr Yang was made aware of everything that was going on between his company and the SRC. Witness explained that as per the records from 2006 up to 2015, Mr Yang has not made any voluntary payments to SRC.  Witness confirmed that the amount brought to court was an estimate because the law allows them to do so in terms of an audit. Witness further testified that although Yangtze Construction claimed not to have received documents all assessments were sent to the given PO Box numbers and were not returned. She further stated that all relevant assessments at the time of the meeting will be presented to the tax payer and copies given to him as well. Witness testified they checked if the company was operating in 2015 to 2017 by looking at the Pension Fund system that they have access to and found that the company had employees for this period of time for which the company was paying to Pension Fund.
  2. The next witness Maria Theresine an SRC officer in the Legal department in the Seychelles Revenue Commission testified that she did an audit assessment in reference to the defendant company Yangtze Construction; it was a default assessment. She did it in respect of Business Tax for the years 2013 and 2014. Witness produced P32 and testified that this is the notification given to the tax payer informing them that a default assessment has been done on them and detailing how SRC arrived at the default assessment figures and the tax laibility and any additional interest and penalties as well. The document is addressed to the public officer of the company at that time Ms. Jacqueline Pool for Yangtze Construction dated 15th June 2015. Witness explained that for the business tax assessment, the information used was available in the SRC, in their system; She explained how the 2013 assessment was made   For the year 2013 for the revenue was 67, 594,077 which was based on tax payers pay statement itself. For the 2014, it was raised based on VAT assessment submitted by the tax payer himself. Witness explained the table. She testified that when it comes to expenses the tax payer submitted a listing for expenses for 2013 and 2014.  For SRC to arrive at the net profit they have to deduct the expenses he submitted as per the listing from the revenue he was assessed on.  In the year 2012 the tax payer declared a loss in the last return he submitted in 2012.  He declared a loss of 4.1 million so SRC had to carry this loss forward to the year 2013 and offset it against the taxable income for that year. For the year 2014 there was no loss to be carried forward SRC therefore just deducted the expenses from the revenue and arrived at the taxable income. 
  3. Witness explained the CSRT (Corporate Social Responsibility Tax also referred to as Corporate Responsibility Tax) was a tax imposed as the defendant’s turnover was more than a million rupees. The CSRT tax liability is calculated at 0.5% on the gross turnover that is the revenue excluding any expenses.  In their default assessment,  the SRC took the revenue for the year 2013 and  0.5% CSRT was charged on the 67 million for the year 2013 and the 0.5% CSRT tax was charged on 16 million for the year 2014. Witness testified that if the taxpayer failed to make payments on time therefore penalties for failure to pay as per Section 44 of Revenue Administration Act were charged. The SRC charge a 10% flat rate on the tax liability raised and given that the tax payer did not pay anything, the 10% flat rate was applicable.   She also referred to Section 41 of the Revenue Administration Act that sets out a quarterly prime lending rate, which varies, but this is from the Central Bank and the SRC add 3% and this too is chargeable again on the tax liability raised and is based on number of days of delay in payment, the longer that the debt remains unpaid there, the higher the interest will be.
  4. Witness testified that for the year 2013 the figure for the total penalty is 3,323,084. For 2014 the figure for the total penalty is 2,967,907. Witness went on to explain how they arrived on these figures. An additional tax and interest were charged for the late lodgement of the returns. 
  5. In cross examination she stated the PO Box number she sent the document was the one given by the defendant Company. Witness stated their tax agent at the time they were lodging their last return that is the 2012 return was Mrs. Jacqueline Pool and the given address was PO Box 847. Witness next explained how they arrive at the revenue amount of SCR 67, 594, 07. Witness testified that they get this from tax payer statement details which they have records at SRC and is based on all the revenue which was paid to him during that period. This may come from various sources.  Witness further stated that Section 9 allows the SRC in the event of default to conduct the audit. Witness further mentioned the penalties that accrue for non-payment or delay. The penalties are imposed for late lodgement penalty, additional tax, interest, local publicity penalties.  In P32 the 10% flat is calculated on the prime tax. She denied the penalties were exorbitant but were imposed according to the law in the legislation. Thereafter the plaintiff closed its case.

Evidence of the Defendant

  1. The defendant opened its case with witness Mr Zihai Yang the Managing Director of Yangtze Construction. He testified that Yangtze Construction is a building construction company. Yangtze Construction is not in operation for the last few years. Witness testified that he does not agree that Yangtze Construction owed to the Revenue Commission SCR 23,724,472.74/- and denies the claim. He stated he does not think the figures are right nor does he think he owes them that much money. The witness was asked about a previous case CS 70 of 2015 where judgment was given against Yangtze Construction. He stated the payment has not been settled yet because he is planning to appeal.
  2. In cross-examination, Mr Yang admitted he started trade in 1998.  However when the licence expired in 2015 business stopped. They have not traded since that year.  Mr Yang testified apart from Yangtze construction he owns some other companies as well. He admitted he owed some money for the one or two years they made profit but stated the other years they made a loss.  He denied his company owed the amount claimed by the plaintiff which he stated is an incredible amount. He stated he had asked his agent Ramani and Company to raise objections to the amount but could not confirm that they had done so within 60 days.  It was suggested to him he had not done so and he replied he had informed his Agent, Ramani and Companies to do so. Witness testified that he was not aware that for the year 2013 and 2014 SRC have raised default assessment in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility Tax and he does not think that he received any notice from SRC for this issue.
  3. Mr Yang further testified that he is not aware that there is a default assessment raised by the SRC for the years 2014, 2015, 2016 and he does not think that he received any notice assessment for 2014, 2015 and 2016. However, Mr Yang admitted that he met with the SRC officers and could not remember exactly what they discussed. He stated that the business is not that good so he is not able to make any payment as per the payment plan agreed on. Witness was shown Exhibit P20 and 21. Exhibit P20 dated 18th March 2016 and witness confirmed that he had a meeting with the SRC officials but however, he cannot not remember exactly what was discussed.
  4. Mr Yang stated his PO Box number is 1280 and in 2011-2012 his accountant was Maria. Witness stated he was unaware that he had instructed in 2012 his PO Box would be 847 Victoria. When Mr Yang was shown P5 a document provided by his Accountant Ramani and Company in 2011 which indicates that the address as PO Box 847 Victoria Mahe he stated his number was 1280, Mr Yang admits he had a meeting with the SRC but he cannot remember the date. When shown P22 he stated he generally does not take care of these letters the driver takes all the letters to him but he does not think he received this letter.
  5. He further denied having received any minutes of meetings from SRC after the meeting. It was put to witness that that the outstanding tax that is owed to the plaintiff, the SRC, in reference to 2013 and 2014 Business Tax together with 2013 and 2014 Income Tax and 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 VAT default assessment. In total he owes the SRC SCR 23,724,472.74/-. Witness stated he did not agree with the assessment. It was put to witness that although he did not agree he didn’t raise any objections within the 60 days. Witness testified that he did not receive the notice and therefore he did not raise any objections in writing nor did he appeal against any decision of the SRC. In respect of the 4.1 million to be paid in Civil Side 70 of 2015.  He stated he had made a plan to settle this money as he received some money from the project at Hotel Tourism Academy and had asked his lawyer to offset the amount against the 4.1 million due in the case. It was suggested to Mr Yang  that he has received all the default assessment that is raised by the SRC against him, but he has not raised any objections in writing and that on this day he owes the SRC the amount set out in the plaint totalling 23,724,472.74/-. Mr Yang replied that that he tried to offset a claim with the Government to settle the last judgment, which he owes. 
  6. Thereafter the defence closed its case. Both parties tendered written submission thereafter.


  1. Having thus considered the evidence of the plaintiff and defendant and having considered the submissions of both parties, I will first take into consideration the pleas in limine litis filed by the defendant. The first plea is based on Article 2271 of the Civil Code of Seychelles, where learned Counsel for the defendant contends that the cause of action is prescribed in law under the said Article which reads as follows:

All rights of action shall be subject to prescription after a period of five years except as provided in Articles 2262 and 2265 of this Code

Provided that in the case of a judgment debt the period of prescription shall be ten years.

  1. Learned Counsel for the defendant submits that all sums being claimed which arose prior to April 2014 are prescribed pursuant to Article 2271 of the Civil Code of Seychelles which provides that all claims shall be brought before the expiry date of five years from the date the claims arose.
  2. In reply, learned Counsel for the plaintiff referred to Article 2248 of the Civil Code of Seychelles which reads as follows:

“The prescription shall also be interrupted by an acknowledgement by a debtor or a possessor of the right of the person against whom the prescription was running.”

  1.  Learned Counsel for plaintiff submitted that the documentary evidence led indicates that the defendant had acknowledged his debt when the defendant had met the plaintiff on the 18th March 2016 (refer minutes of meeting P20) and had made a request for an extension of time to pay the said sum owed.  Prior to this it is apparent that the Default Assessment notifications for Business Tax, VAT and CSR P3, P4, P6, P8 and P9 relevant to the claim in this case had been sent to the defendant to his given address.   Again on the 23rd March 2016 the defendant met the plaintiff’s officials to negotiate payments.  Although by letter dated the 29th August 2018 P2, he disagreed with the assessments raised in the notice of intention to prosecute dated 23rd August 2018,  he had failed to serve an objection on the revenue decisions of the Revenue Commissioner P3, P4, P6, P7, P8 and P9 within the prescribed period of sixty days of the service. Further the defendant by requesting for extension of time to pay the debts till March 2016 acknowledges the said debt. This is supported not only by the oral evidence of the prosecution witness Fabiola Alcindor but also by documents P20 and P21. Therefore, this court is satisfied that the prescription claimed by the defendant has been interrupted by the acknowledgement of the debt by the defendant.
  2. The next ground urged by learned Counsel for the defendant is that the Plaintiff has failed to prove that there is no overlapping of its claims in this suit and that the case of CS 70/2015 between the same parties where this court gave judgment in the sum of SCR 4,367,546.42. I am inclined to agree with learned Counsel for the plaintiff when she states that there is no overlapping or carrying forward of the outstanding amount in respect of CS 70/2015 in the present action as the outstanding sum in CS 70/2015 is in respect of 2008 and 2011 Business Tax, July 2010- December 2011 Income Tax  and Income Tax assessment for the period January 2012 to December 2012 as borne out in the prayer to the plaint and judgment in case CS 70/2015, whereas in this instant case the claim is for 2013 and 2014 Business Tax and other taxes for the period 2013 and 2016. Therefore, in the view of this court there is no overlapping of the claims of the Revenue Commissioner in this case and that in CS 70/2015. The plea of res judicata fails.
  3. I therefore proceed to dismiss the two grounds relied on by the defendant in the plea in limine litis.
  4. It seems that the Mr Zihai Yang has relied strongly on the fact that there is no proof of service of any documents on him and very vaguely the defendant in his evidence stated, he had no knowledge of many of the documents sent to him by the plaintiff.
  5. It is clear from the proceedings that SRC kept sending letters and notices to PO Box 847 and 1280.  The defendant states in submissions that these were the wrong PO Box numbers. It is to be observed that the PO Box 847, is the number given by Yangtze Construction in their own self- assessment P5 dated 30th October 2012 as their postal address for service of notices. Further in the initial registration of the company P1 the addresses  given are PO Box 137 and 1280. In his evidence he admits PO Box 1280 is his business address (Proceedings of 22 July 2022 at pg. 09) Therefore, Yangtze Construction cannot aver now that the documents have been sent to the wrong address.
  6. Further the evidence and Exhibit P13 indicates that emails were also sent to (May 18th 2016) which is seemingly the email address for Yangtze Construction and with it attached is a copy of letter (P14) which is a notice to attend to give evidence. This email address is also the same email address set out by the defendant company in their email to the Prosecution Officer of SRC Exhibit P2 (29th August 2018).  
  7. The minutes of the meetings held as shown in Exhibits P20 (18th March 2016) and P21 (23 March 2016) indicate that Mr Zihai Yang was present together with other participants. They discussed about Yangtze Construction’s difficulty to settle debts and the minutes of the meeting state that Mr Yang was proposing a way to settle his debts. He requested for another meeting which was fixed for 23rd March 2016.  In the minutes of the meeting held on the 23rd March 2016 it is recorded that Mr Yang acknowledged receiving notification of assessment. The defendant was advised by the other participants on what he had to do with regards to his debts. Mr Yang was to come back to make a formal proposal.
  8. Mr Yang in his evidence under oath was vague and repeatedly stated he was unaware of many things and his replies in cross examination were full of uncertainties and unsure in nature always using the words “I think”. However, it is apparent from the above that he was aware of the arrears of taxes due from him set out in the plaintiff’s numerous documents mentioned above as he had even met and had discussions with officers of the SRC regarding the debts owed by him. Therefore, I am inclined not to accept the unclear and vague evidence of the defendant who was quite clearly clinging to technicalities to disclaim payment, even after having agreed earlier that he would settle the debts as he was getting some money from another business project called the Quarry Product Seychelles and as he had received new projects.
  9. This Court is satisfied that the relevant notice had been properly served on the defendant company and the defendant was well aware of the claim made by SRC in this case and has failed to raise objections in the given time.
  10. It is settled law that in cases of this nature, it is not for court to proceed to calculate the sum claimed in the plaint. Learned Counsel for the plaintiff has brought to the notice of this court the provisions of Section 21(2) of the Revenue Administration Act (herein after referred to as the said Act) which reads as follows:

“In an action for recovery of revenue, a copy of the notice of assessment shall be received by the court as evidence that the revenue is due and payable, and the court shall not entertain any plea that the revenue assessed is not recoverable because it has not been properly assessed or that the assessment under which the revenue is payable is the subject of objection and appeal”.

  1. Further Section 13 (1) of the said Act reads as follows:

“The production of a notice of assessment, or a document under the hand of the Revenue Commissioner purporting to be a copy of a notice of assessment, is conclusive evidence of the due making of the assessment and (except in proceedings under Part IV) that the amount and all particulars of the assessment are correct.”

  1. It is pertinent at this stage to draw attention to Section 15 (1) of the said Act which reads as follows:

Subject to subsection (2), a taxpayer dissatisfied with a revenue decision may, within sixty days after service of the notice the decision, serve on the Revenue Commissioner an objection in writing against the decision stating fully and in detail the grounds for the objection

  1. Section 16(1) of the said Act reads as follows:

A taxpayer dissatisfied with an objection decision may make an application to the Revenue Tribunal in accordance with Section 72 for review of the decision.

  1. Further Section 17(1) of the said Act reads as follows:

A party to a proceeding before the Revenue Tribunal dissatisfied with the Tribunal’s decision on an objection decision may lodge a notice of appeal against the decision to the Supreme Court in accordance with Section 78.

  1. Further appeal is permitted even up to the Seychelles Court of Appeal. Therefore, the law specifically provides for a procedure for relief in respect of revenue decisions where there is a challenge to the amount mentioned.
  2. Learned Counsel for the plaintiff also relied on the case of Controller of Taxes v Ho-Sap (1983) SLR 148. In the case of Yve Bossy v Republic (1980) SLR 40  it was  held: “where any legislation provided for appeal against the decision of any government official or body, it is that proceeding or method that must be followed; it is not permitted to by-pass that procedure and instead make an appeal to court; the tax legislation provided a procedure to appeal against an assessment by the Controller of Taxes;”


  1. On the evidence before court, I cannot come to a conclusion that the plaintiff has not followed the law, or acted on wrong principles or against natural justice (Yve Bossy supra). For the above reasons, I believe that no proper defence has been made out and that no reason has been shown in law why the plaintiff should not have judgment in his favor in regard to the amount claimed. I proceed to reject the defence of the defendant. For all the aforementioned reasons, I am satisfied that the plaintiff has established the claim as set out in the prayer to the plaint.
  2. I proceed to enter judgment in favour of the plaintiff as prayed for in paragraphs (a) and (b) of the prayer of the plaint, dated the 16th April 2019 which includes cost.

Signed, dated and delivered at Ile du Port on 28 July 2023.




M Burhan J

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