Taxpayer’s objection to dept’s assessment
January 19 2018 11:26 PM
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By Dr Nizar Kochery/Doha

Question: We are a branch of a foreign company having WLL status annually filing tax returns. Recently we have received a notification from the tax department with regard to assessment and in that we have objection in consideration of loose tools. How do we raise objections?
ASE, Doha
Answer: According to Article 28 of the tax laws, the taxpayer may object the tax assessment decision within 30 days from the date of its notification by a registered letter to the department. The objection shall be submitted to the department and the submission of the objection shall result in the suspension of the execution of the assessment decision. If the taxpayer fails to submit an objection within the period mentioned above, the assessment decision shall become final and the tax shall become due. In 60 days, the department shall settle the objection and elapse of the said period with no response from the department shall be treated as an implicit refusal of the same. 
If taxpayer does not accept the department’s decision on the objection, an appeal may be submitted within 30 days from the date of notification of the department’s decision on the objection or from the elapse of the period provided for to settle the objection with no response made, as the case may be before the tax appeal committee as provided under Article 31 of the tax laws.

Rent claim against liquidating company
Q: We rented out first floor of our building to a company in 2013. The rent from July 2017 is still pending and we have filed a case before the rental court. Now the court has stopped the case stating that the company is under liquidation. On enquiry, we came to know that the liquidator will settle the claims from the assets of the company. According to our knowledge, there are a lot of creditors. How we will be able to get the rent amount? Please advise.
DF, Doha

A:
Submit your claim against the company to the liquidator. The liquidator will settle the company’s debts after deducting the liquidation expenses including the liquidator fees in the following order: (1) amounts due to the employees, (2) amounts due to the state, (3) rent due to landlord who leased the property, and (4) other due amounts each in accordance to its preference with respect to relevant laws. After clearing the company debts, the liquidator should pay up the partners the value of their monetary shares of capital and to allocate the surplus among them in proportion to the profit quota of each. The assets of the company will be distributed among the partners by sorting, following the principles prescribed for the distribution of the joint property, unless the articles of the association of the company stipulate otherwise.


Formalities for changing job
Q: I am in Qatar since the last four years. For the last seven months I am with a second employer – having my visa locally transferred. But on the last day of my sixth month, I was terminated due to optimisation reasons without any notice period provided to look for an alternative job locally. I have an outstanding bank loan. Due to the current uncertainties, there is a long delay in finding a suitable job in Qatar. I need to meet my family due to an emergency. What are the options for leaving the country for two weeks, the formalities for changing job and the bank liability settlements?
VS, Doha

A:
If you hold valid residency permit and an exit permit, you can leave the country to meet your family and return to Qatar. In accordance with Entry, Exit and Residence Law (Law No. 21 of 2015), in case of termination of the employment contract, the employee can have up to three months’ time as a grace period to find new employment by notifying the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs. When the worker has found a new job, they will be required to return to the ministry and present their new employment contract. In case of cancellation of residency permit, the person will be able to return to Qatar to take up employment immediately after being granted a new visa. The new law abolishes the current two-year ban on expatriates who want to come back to the country on a new visa.

Loan contract is independent of borrower’s employment and borrower will be legally obliged to repay the loan as per the terms of loan. On failure to repay the loan amount, the bank can take the necessary legal action to recover the loan amount. Loan repayment shall subsist irrespective of whether the borrower is employed or not. 

Expenses borne by the losing party
Q: Can we get our expenses borne by the other party in circumstances where the case filed is baseless? Please advise. 
JS, Doha

A:
According to Article 131 of the civil and commercial procedure law, the court shall decide, on its own motion, the expenses which shall be borne by the losing party. Attorney fees shall form part of such expenses. If the losing parties are several, the court may divide the expenses between them on an equal basis or on a pro rata basis of the interest of each of them in the lawsuit according to the assessment of the court, and they shall not be jointly liable for payment of the expenses, unless they are jointly liable for the original obligation.


* Please send your questions by e-mail to: [email protected]


LEGAL SYSTEM IN QATAR

According to Article 83 of the Civil and Commercial Procedure law, the case filed may be stayed as per the parties’ agreement for a maximum period of six months from the date the court has confirmed their agreement. Such stay shall have no effect on any time limit specified by the law for a proceeding. If the case is not resumed within twenty days subsequent to the expiry of the six-month period, the plaintiff shall be deemed to have abandoned the case and the appellant deemed to have abandoned the appeal. 
Except in cases where the law provides for mandatory or discretionary suspension of the case, the court may order the suspension of the case, whenever it considers that the issuance of the judgment on the merits depends on the determination of another matter related to the judgment. When such reason for suspension has ceased, any of the parties may apply to resume the proceedings. 
As per Article 85, the litigation process shall be discontinued by law if one of the litigants dies or on incapacity of one of the parties unless the lawsuit is ready for judgment on its merits and then the court may hear the case based on final statements and applications, or postpone it at the request of representatives of the party who has died or lost his competence to litigate or at the request of the other party. The lawsuit shall be deemed to be fit for judgment on merits when the parties have submitted their final statements and applications in the hearing before the death or incapacity or loss of capacity to proceed with litigation. The litigation shall not be discontinued due to the death of the attorney nor on the termination of the power of attorney by retirement or dismissal. The court may grant a reasonable period for the party whose attorney has died or whose power of attorney has expired, to appoint a new attorney. 
Discontinuance of litigation shall result in the suspension of all time limits for proceedings, and the nullification of all proceedings which take place during the discontinuance. 
After the expiry of one year from the last proper proceeding of the litigation, any interested party to the litigation may apply for a judgment declaring the litigation as expired in the event that the case has not been resumed due to the plaintiff’s act or forbearance. The period of expiry of the litigation in cases of discontinuance shall start from the day on which the party applying for the expiry of the litigation, acting on behalf of the deceased or the incapacitated party has notified the legal heirs of his deceased opponent that a lawsuit existed between him and the original party to the lawsuit. The period for the lapse of the litigation shall apply to all persons, even those without, or with diminished competence. 
According to Article 89, application for the expiry of the litigation shall be submitted to the court where the case is filed, in accordance with the normal procedure for filing such lawsuits. The expiry of the litigation may be pleaded as a defence if the plaintiff applies to resume the proceedings after the expiry of one year. The application or the defence shall be against all plaintiffs or appellants, otherwise it shall not be acceptable. 
When litigation is discontinued at the appeal stage, the appealed judgment shall be considered in all circumstances as final. In all cases, the litigation shall lapse upon the expiry of three years from the last proper proceeding taken therein.



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