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SEN. Ben Pangelinan has sent another letter to Attorney General Lenny Rapadas, asking him to take action against the administration’s “non-compliance” with the income tax refund efficient payment trust fund law.
According to Pangelinan, Guam law requires that a percentage of all gross annual income tax collections, including employed workers' withholding tax, be deposited into the trust fund.
In his previous letters, the Barrigada senator asked AG Rapadas to “compel the Department of Administration and its director to adhere to the income tax refund laws of Guam by depositing collections based on the formulas established by law.”
“There should be more than $33 million in cash deposited to the trust fund at this time," Pangelinan stated. "The millions of dollars not deposited to the trust fund prevents the government from paying all the remaining taxpayers awaiting a refund for tax year 2011.”
He emphasized that DOA should have deposited $43 million, and not just the $33 million that is being claimed by the administration.
“I want to know why the $10 million was not deposited according to the law and why it was not a part of the refunds that were mailed out last week. The Attorney General must act swiftly so that the administration does not bury the government and the people of Guam in more debt just because it couldn’t keep its promise of keeping up with the payment of tax refunds,” the senator said.
“I am reminding the Attorney General that his first duty is to protect the rights of citizens who elected him. Clearly, when refunds are withheld from taxpayers who are owed refunds because someone is not following the law, he must defend their rights and not deny the people their rights,” Pangelinan added.
In the meantime, the AG’s Office released a statement regarding Pangelinan’s concerns, assuring that issues surrounding the income tax refund laws and the reservation provision are included in the current income tax refund litigation in federal court.
The AG’s Office could not comment further pending the litigation, but it noted Rapadas shares Pangelinan’s desire to “protect the citizens of Guam.”