Appeals by Najib, two sons over RM1.74b in tax payment for mention on Dec 16

Datuk Seri Najib Razak has to pay RM1.69 billion in additional tax arrears. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Datuk Seri Najib Razak has to pay RM1.69 billion in additional tax arrears. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — The appeals brought by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his two sons over their tax payment, totalling RM1.74 billion, to the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) will be mentioned on the same day at the Court of Appeal.

Najib, 67, has to pay RM1.69 billion in additional tax arrears, while his sons, Datuk Mohd Nazifuddin, 37, RM37.6 million, and Datuk Mohamad Nizar, 42, amounting to RM13.16 million.

Based on the cause list of the Court of Appeal, the three appeals have been set for case management before Deputy Registrar Mohd Khairi Haron on December 16.

The three of them had filed the appeals separately at the Court of Appeal.

Najib, Mohd Nazifuddin and Mohamad Nizar have to pay the amount to IRB after the High Court in Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam allowed the IRB’s application for a summary judgement to be entered against them.

A summary judgement is where a court decides a case through arguments without hearing the testimony of witnesses in a trial.

The order against Najib and Mohd Nazifuddin was issued by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on July 22 and July 6, respectively, while the order against Mohamad Niza by the Shah Alam High Court on September 25.

On June 25 last year, the government, through the IRB, filed the suit against the Pekan MP, seeking him to pay RM1.69 billion in unpaid taxes for the period between 2011 and 2017 with interest at 5 per cent a year from the date of judgement, as well as costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

Judge Datuk Ahmad Bache in his judgement ruled that since the notice of assessment had been properly served to Najib pursuant to Section 103(2) of the Income Tax Act 1967 (ITA), the tax payable under those additional assessments becomes due and payable to the IRB.

The judge said under Section 106 of the ITA, the court found that the additional income tax was hereby due and recoverable as debt due to the government for an amount RM1,692,872,924.83 as evident in the certificate of indebtedness issued on August 5, 2019.

“The court holds that a summary judgement is entered against the defendant for the amount claimed by the plaintiff (IRB) as in the plaintiff’s statement of claims, that is RM1,692,872,924.83 with costs,” Justice Ahmad said.

Citing a  decision from the Federal Court, Justice Ahmad said the provision as expressed by the Federal Court — “pay first talk later” — although harsh, is an intentional provision of legislature because of the high incidence of tax evasions in this country.

On July 24, last year, the IRB filed the action against Mohd Nazifuddin claiming that he still had unpaid taxes for the assessment years from 2011 to 2017  totalling RM37,644,810.73 as stated in the assessment notice dated March 15, 2019.

Judge Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim in his decision among others said that the IRB as the plaintiff had proven that its claim was clear and obvious while the defendant (Mohd Nazifuddin) failed to show merits in his statement of defence. 

The IRB filed the same action on Mohamad Nizar seeking him to pay taxes amounting to RM13,159,821.94 for  the assessment years from 2011 to 2017.

Judicial Commissioner of the High Court  Datuk Julie Lack Abdullah in her judgement ruled that the issues raised by Mohamad Nizar to be devoid of merits, baseless and did not constitutes triable issues.

She of the view that tax payer must pay his taxes first regardless of his dissatisfaction with the amount or for any reason.

She  also held  that the plea of limitation did not apply to the commencement of any proceedings by the Government for the recovery of any tax from the taxpayer. — Bernama

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