Substantive matters, when MIRA’s decisions are enforced by the Civil Court, are not up for dispute: High Court

Judgement has been passed by the High Court that substantive matters cannot be disputed when passing judgement by the Civil Court on cases filed by MIRA to enforce tax related decisions by MIRA and the Tax Appeal Tribunal. The judgement was passed by the High Court with regard to a case appealed by MIRA against the Civil Court judgement which was passed in favor of Media Net Pvt. Ltd. The Civil Court judgement was passed on the case filed by MIRA to enforce the assessed amount owed by Media Net Pvt. Ltd as withholding tax.

According to the judgement, the Tax Administration Act specifies the procedure to be followed in relation to tax assessments made by MIRA by the person the assessment relates. In this regard, where a person objects to a decision made by MIRA, such objection should be informed to MIRA within 30 days of notification of MIRA’s decision. The person also can appeal to the Tax Appeal Tribunal if the person is not satisfied with a decision made by MIRA with regard to his objection. Where the taxpayer does not take action during the aforementioned stages, the decision made by MIRA would be final and legally be deemed as accepted by the taxpayer. Additionally, the High Court judgement also stipulates that when the taxpayer has not acted in any of the aforementioned stages and as a result MIRA files a case to the Civil Court to enforce its decision, disputes on substantive matters during the court procedure questions the purpose for the Tax Administration Act, the duties and responsibilities of MIRA and the need for the Tax Appeal Tribunal and therefore, any additional legal proceedings other than that needed to enforce the decision would not make legal sense.

Media Net Pvt. Ltd had objected to the assessment by MIRA that the company has to pay withholding tax. However, the company had not appealed to the Tax Appeal Tribunal on the decision made by MIRA with regard to its objection. 

Related links

·         Link to the Judgment

https://www.mira.gov.mv/legal_decisions/20160509_High_Court_Judgment_Medianet.pdf

11 May 16