Govt sues Aeon Credit over unpaid taxes

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 9): Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd is being sued by the government to recover unpaid taxes.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Aeon Credit said it had received a writ of summons, together with a statement of claim from the government, to pay taxes due for the years of assessment 2010 to 2016.

When contacted, Aeon Credit’s chief financial officer Lee Kit Seong told theedgemarkets.com that the matter is in relation to the RM96.8 million in additional taxes and penalties that the Inland Revenue Board had demanded from the company for the assessment period, which it announced back in 2017.

The matter has been fixed for case management at the Shah Alam High Court on July 23.

“Upon consulting its tax solicitors, the company maintains its stance that there is a good basis in law to challenge the validity of the taxes and penalties demanded by the director-general of [the] Inland Revenue [Board] and also the civil proceedings commenced against the company.

“This is especially when at all material times, the company had sought professional advice from an independent and reputable firm of tax consultants on its tax treatment and that the notices of additional assessment for the years of assessment 2010 and 2011 are time barred," said Aeon Credit, adding further announcement will be made as and when there is a material update.

After Aeon Credit was slapped with the additional tax and penalties in end-2017, it had filed an appeal with the IRB against the additional assessment. At the same time, it had applied for a judicial review to challenge the validity of the additional taxes it was slapped with, and sought for a stay of proceedings. 

In March 2018, the company updated that the High Court had dismissed the judicial review application, while its bid to stay proceedings — pending disposal of its judicial review appeal at the appellate court — was rejected in May. 

The company then appealed against the High Court’s decision on the stay of proceedings, but this subsequently dismissed on April 5. At the time, the company said it would proceed with the appeal against the earlier rejection of its judicial review application. The hearing of this appeal has since been fixed on Oct 9.

Aeon Credit shares closed up 8 sen or 0.48% at RM16.78 today, after 200,900 shares were traded, bringing it a market capitalisation of RM4.21 billion.