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Court gives nod to National Kidney Foundation’s judicial review bid against IRB

26 August 2022

KUALA LUMPUR – The Shah Alam High Court today allowed the leave application by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) to commence judicial review proceedings against the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) for revoking its tax exemption status.

Judge Shahnaz Sulaiman ruled that NKF’s leave application was not frivolous and that judicial review is the appropriate forum to determine whether its tax exemption status under Section 44(6) of the Income Tax Act 1967 (ITA) can be revoked by the IRB.

In 1970, the IRB had granted NKF tax exemption status under Section 44(6)(a) of the ITA.

However, after a tax audit, the IRB revoked the tax exemption status and raised tax assessments to NKF in July 2020.

NKF argued that the revocation of the tax exemption status was without basis, given that it has complied with requirements imposed by the IRB.

During the leave hearing, senior revenue counsel, Ahmad Isyak Mohd Hassan in representing the IRB director-general, argued that leave for judicial review should not be granted as there was an alternative statutory remedy available under the ITA and thus, NKF’s judicial review application was frivolous and vexatious.

NKF, which was represented by S Saravana Kumar and Nur Hanina Mohd Azham from the law firm Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership, argued that the special commissioners of income tax have no jurisdiction under the law to deal with the issue of tax exemption status revocation.

Saravana added that the ordinary threshold for leave is extremely low, with the sole question being whether the application is frivolous. – The Vibes, August 26, 2022

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