Saturday, April 20, 2024

Tax man, owner after same money


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Charles Fontone Bellamy wants his money but so does the Commissioner of Inland Revenue.Between the two of them is the Commissioner of Police, who has the $33 426 and US$170 which formed the core of Bellamy’s recent court case, and who is awaiting an order from the No. 5 Supreme Court as to whom he should pay it.
Bellamy, 47, of Spencer’s Gap, Baxters Road, St. Michael, was back in court yesterday, 24 hours after he had his money laundering case dismissed by Madame Justice Maureen Crane-Scott.His attorney Andrew Pilgrim asked the court to issue a restitution order, which would allow the monies to be returned to Bellamy.However, Principal Crown Counsel Alliston Seale revealed the Commissioner of Police had been served, by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, with a document on Wednesday, asking that the monies be paid to that department and not to Bellamy.He explained it was called a garnishment order and applied under Section 73 of the Income Tax Act. Seale said Bellamy owed Inland Revenue $78 695.10.
“In this present situation,” said Seale, “I can say the Crown is indebted to Mr. Bellamy. The Crown has his money and, under this act, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue has served on the Commissioner of Police this order indicating that any money that would have been paid to Mr. Bellamy must now be paid to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue.”Seale told the court that under Section 73,  if the Commissioner of Inland Revenue believed that any person was indebted or liable to another person and the other person was indebted to the Crown, the Commissioner could order the first person to pay over the money to Inland Revenue Department.“This is third party debt,” Seale further explained.
“And I think the department has a right, like any other government, to do what they are mandated under the laws of Barbados to do,” he stressed.However Pilgrim, who called the garnishment order “skulduggery and wickedness in high and low places designed to deprive people of what is their right and due”, argued that at no time during the last eight years, had the Inland Revenue Department expressed any interest in Bellamy.“I am asking the court to give this man his money. If the Commissioner of Inland Revenue is trying after eight years to seize his money, then they should do it the right way,” Pilgrim stressed.
The attorney also questioned whether the Commissioner of Police could be considered a third party, when the holder of that title was an agent of the crown, just like the Commissioner of Inland Revenue.In the end, Madame Justice Maureen Crane-Scott told the attorneys that she would hear in depth arguments at a later stage and adjourned the matter until November 10.


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