Obinim To Pay GHS1.6m Tax Liability; Court Throws Out His Appeal

An Accra high court has thrown out an application in which Bishop Daniel Obinim, the Head Pastor of International Godsway Church is challenging the decision of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) requiring him to settle a tax liability of GH¢1,591,797.50 to the state.

Pastor Obinim, the applicant wanted the court to declare that the issuance and service on him to clear his tax liability is null and void.

In his application to invoke the judicial review jurisdiction of the High Court, the international pastor denied any tax obligation by virtue of the fact that he had fully paid all his tax liabilities.

The head pastor subsequently initiated the action pursuant to Section 42 of the Revenue Administration Act, 2016, Act 915 and joined the GRA and Ecobank Ghana Limited, a third party debtor as respondents.

But in its judgement delivered on May 13, 2020, Justice Doreen G. Boakye-Agyei, presiding, held that the GRA followed procedure in determining and notifying the applicant of his tax liability.

She said the applicant, not having followed the laid-down procedure to make his objections to be given a hearing as required by law, in the considered opinion of “this court is just setting up his own wilful failure and default as grounds for seeking judicial review”.

Justice Boakye-Agyei stated that the applicant, having admitted that he was served with notice of his tax liability should have followed the prescribed rules to have his grievances addressed.

“He cannot use his failure as a ground to seek judicial review. This instant case is not a proper and appropriate case for the court to exercise its powers of judicial review,” Justice Boakye-Agyei stated.

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