IN THE SUPREME COURT OF SEYCHELLES
COMMISSIONER OF TAXES …............................................................................PLAINTIFF
MR BRIAN PHILIP BACCUS ….........................................................................DEFENDANT
Civil Side No 57 of 2010
Miss Fred for the Plaintiff
B. Renaud J
1. The Plaint was entered on 18th February, 2010 whereby the Plaintiff is claiming from the Defendant the total sum of SR816,350.10 as unpaid taxes due for the period of 2001 to 2004 inclusive.
2. The Defendant was duly served with summons and plaint on 5th March, 2010 requiring him to attend Court on 30th March, 2010 at 9.00 a.m. The Defendant failed to appear either in person or by Counsel. Upon application of the Plaintiff the Court granted leave for the matter to be heard ex-parte on 21st May, 2010 at 1.45 p.m.
3. Ms. Marie Anette Fred testified on behalf of the Plaintiff. She stated that the Defendant is a registered Tax Payer having completed Tax Registration Form Exhibit PI. It is the obligation of the Defendant to submit "return" at the end of every tax year. The Defendant accordingly submitted his Tax Returns for the years 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. The Plaintiff assessed taxes due by the Defendant for the period 2001 to 2004. By notices of assessment addressed to the Defendant by delivery mail, he was thus informed of his assessed tax. Notices of assessment for the years 2002, to 2004 are Exhibits P3 and P4. The defendant had no tax liability due for the year 2001. The notices of assessment were not returned as having not served. The Defendant did not object to these assessments in terms of Section 104 of the Business Tax Act within the 60 days allowed. The Plaintiff revised and amended the original assessments for the years 2001, 2002 and 2003 in accordance with Section 97 of the Business Tax Act. The Defendant was accordingly advised of this by delivery mail and these were not returned as not being served. Copy of amended notices of assessment for the years 2001 to 2003 are Exhibits P5, P6 and P7. Exhibit P8 is the notice of assessment for the year 2001. Penalty charges were added on the assessed taxes in terms of Section 143(2) of the Business Tax ACT. The Defendant did neither register any objection against nor make any payment towards the assessed taxes for the period 2001 to 2004. The Defendant however reported to the Office of the Plaintiff after he received the notices of assessment.
4. The evidence of the Plaintiff remained uncontroverted as the Defendant did not put up appearance. I note however from the pleadings of the Plaintiff that the Defendant was performing business of Take Away at the Providence Industrial Estates. His assessed taxes for the year 2001 was SR19,510.90; for 2002 it totaled SR244,669.20; for 2003 it was SR30,232.00; for 2004 it was SR237,398.40. I cannot but wonder if indeed it is possible for a small business like that of the Defendant generated such amount of taxable income to attract that mush assessed business taxes particularly for the years 2002 and 2004. Be that as it may, this Court has to adjudicate this suit in the light of evidence before it. However, this does not preclude the Plaintiff from relooking at the correctness of the tax returns of the Defendant who may have got his income tax returns wrongly filled in. Only taxes that are genuinely due should be collected.
5. On the basis of the uncontroverted evidence of the Plaintiff I have no alternative but to conclude and find on a balance of probabilities that the Defendant indeed
owes the Plaintiff taxes as assessed in addition to late payment penalties for the years 2001 to 2004 as pleaded.
6. I accordingly enter judgment in favour of the Plaintiff as against the Defendant in the total sum of SR816.350.10, with costs.
Dated this 27th day of May 2011