A Nationalist MP has opened a libel case against ONE News over an article centred on his VAT payments.
David Thake has opened proceedings over the article – “Thake iħallas biss wara li nkixef li ma ħallasx il-VAT” (Thake pays only after it is revealed that he didn’t pay VAT).
The filing comes after it was reported that the PN MP’s company owes around €270,000 in unpaid VAT, with Thake in talks with the Inland Revenue Department over the bill for the past few weeks.
In the ONE News article in question, it was reported that Thake reached an agreement with authorities to pay the unpaid VAT only after the amount was revealed in public.
Thake has called the article libellous and defamatory, and has now opened legal proceedings in this regard.
Times of Malta had reported that Thake’s telecommunications company Vanilla Telecoms owes the tax authorities around €270,000 in VAT.
Thake vehemently denied that Vanilla had tried to evade tax, arguing that the VAT returns were filed on time and that his company’s own accounts department had actually taken the initiative after realising the VAT department’s website wasn’t showing updated figure for the company since 2016.
He said a voluntary repayment programme is being finalised and that the amount immediately due stands at €174,790, due to a government tax deferral scheme to help businesses cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PN MP also asked Hyzler to investigate the case to ensure his company’s actions don’t compromise his position as an MP.
What do you make of the legal case?