Najib files appeal against ruling to pay IRB RM1.69b in unpaid taxes


FORMER prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (picture) has filed an appeal against a decision for him to pay the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) RM1.69 billion in additional tax arrears for the period of 2011 to 2017 after a judgment in default was entered against him.

Najib’s lawyer Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee said the appeal was filed a few months ago.

“The next case management is tomorrow at the Court of Appeal,” he said today when asked on the matter.

On July 22, the High Court had allowed the IRB’s application for a summary judgment to be entered against Najib.

Judge Datuk Ahmad Bache 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.

He said the defendant (Najib), to date, has failed to pay the total amount of arrears of additional income tax amounting to RM1,692,872,924.83, which includes all the penalties.

The judge further 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 Aug 5, 2019.

“The court holds that a summary judgment 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 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 five per cent a year from the date of judgment, as well as costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

The IRB then filed an application for a summary judgment.

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