In the News: The Directorate General of Taxation (DGI) is “wrong” in the case of André Apaid

by Valery Daudier and Cadet Carl Henry, Le Nouvelliste, published September 7, 2012

The fiscal situation of the industrialist Michel André Apaid has been regularized without the latter paying a dime in taxes, contrary to what had been said by members of the government after the lifting of the travel against him. According to the head of the section for large taxpayers of the Directorate General of Taxes (DGI), Joseph Salime Montinor, Mr. Apaid has a deductible benefit of 15 years for his business. DGI was not aware!

Michel André Apaid whose passport was confiscated Monday (Sept 3) at the Toussaint Louverture airport as he was preparing to fly out of the country was presented to the press on Friday with his council composed of attorneys Gervais Charles, Carlos Hercules and Stanley Gaston. The ban has been lifted, but this was not a favor by authorities to the businessman. He does not owe taxes on the company in question.

“The tax slips were simply canceled by DGI. It was a private company since 2005. So there was never any payment due, contrary to what former Senator Joseph Lambert and spokesman of the Presidency, Lucien Jura, said,” reported Attorney Gervais.

“To avoid any confusion, I want to tell you that at no point of time has Mr. Apaid had debts to the state and he did pay one penny to the DGI. DGI admits it erred in issuing payment orders to Mr. Apaid and publishing his name on a list of taxpayers banned from travel, “said, for his part, Mr. Stanley Gaston.

“It is perhaps to save face that DGI has regularized the case of Mr. Apaid. We cannot pay what is not due,” said the lawyers. “Mr. Apaid paid not a dime in the context of this case, but Mr. Apaid pays his taxes,” added the person in blue jeans, light blue shirt.

Mr. Apaid has a deductible of 15 years for his business. “The records of the company revealed that the businessman had for the activities of his company a franchise 15 years Monitor reported in 2002,” informed the director of large taxpayers, Joseph Salime Montinor, during a press conference in parallel.

“The first term of 5 years being held by the company had expired, so the DGI asked it to pay its taxes due. It was unaware that Mr. Apaid had received a second term (of tax relief),” said Mr. Montinor.

How is it that the DGI was not aware of all this?

“To recover the debts of the State, slips were sent to the management of the company for a warning. An initial list of late filers was made public, but no response was made by André Apaid, when he had the opportunity to clarify the issue with the DGI, “lamented the head of large taxpayers. “It was up to the taxpayer,” he said, to prove the renewal of its franchise.

In addition, the tax authorities are prepared not only to correct any errors or omissions in the tax records, but also to respond to taxpayers, regardless of their remedy. Speaking of legal appeal, counsel for Me Apaid intend to pursue it “to the end.”

“We want to draw an example,” stated Mr. Gervais Charles. “A well-known tax expert has given us a consultation, tracing all the steps that the DGI should have followed, first, in the administrative processing of the file, and then in the taxes at issue, “said the lawyer.

André Apaid cannot digest the fact that his name was published on a list of large, delinquent taxpayers and banned from travel. He says President Michel Martelly is responsible for this measure because the taxation government commissioner works under his direction.

“My name cannot appear on a list without the head of state knowing,” argued the former leader of Group 184, very active in 2004 in the struggle to overthrow former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Mr. Apaid, who spoke in a firm tone, said that this is political persecution. “The convincing evidence in favor of this thesis,” says Mr. Gervais Charles, includes “testy” exchanges that André Apaid had with the head of state at a meeting.