Thursday 12 December, 2019

Tax lawsuit against Sandals dismissed

In a press statement earlier this year, the resort company said, “The assertion that Sandals has not paid taxes due to the government is categorically false.

In a press statement earlier this year, the resort company said, “The assertion that Sandals has not paid taxes due to the government is categorically false.

A Florida Federal Court on Tuesday dismissed a tax fraud claim made against Sandals Resorts International, stating that the case belonged in the country in which the hotel is domiciled.

Sandals Resorts International had filed a motion seeking to have the court dismiss a US$5 million lawsuit, which claimed that thousands of holidaymakers at Beaches Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) and other resorts were overcharged for their vacation.

Sandals denied the claim, stating that the case should be thrown out by the Miami court in which it was filed on May 21  - as it had no jurisdiction over it.

Attorney Michael Winkleman, of the Miami-based law firm Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman -  had previously told the Turks and Caicos Weekly he that was keen to have the case heard in Miami due to the harsh penalties in the US.

He alleges that as many as 10,000 holidaymakers in the TCI, Antigua, Barbados and St Lucia had unfairly high rates of accommodation taxes levied on their bills to increase Sandals' profits.

Sandals also denied the allegations, labelling them as baseless, both in fact and law.

In a press statement earlier this year, the resort company said, “The assertion that Sandals has not paid taxes due to the government is categorically false. We are proud to be the Caribbean's largest private employer and in many of the countries in which we operate, we are the biggest economic contributor and taxpayer. Our operations in all territories have been subject to regular audits that have, without exception, always delivered clean reports.”

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