UK court fines Altaf Hussain and other MQM leaders £1.5 million

MQM founder Altaf Hussain calls the MQM merger a forced marriage.  - AFP/File
MQM founder Altaf Hussain calls the MQM merger a forced marriage. – AFP/File
  • Northampton County Court ruled on HMRC’s appeal.
  • The defendants include MQM founder Altaf Hussain, Tariq Mir and others.
  • They deny involvement in any wrongdoing or tax evasion.

LONDON: A court has acquitted current and former senior Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leadership – including Altaf Hussain – for non-payment of almost £1.5 million to the UK government’s Tax and Income Tax Department – known as Her Majesty’s Department. and Syed Tariq Mir are also involved – has issued a verdict against. Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

as per available information newsA judgment in default has been issued by Northampton County Court Judge Henley on an application from HMRC in a long-running civil tax and income dispute with the MQM leadership.

The judgment has been issued against MQM leader and founder Hussain, Mir, Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohd Kalimullah Syed in the case brought before the court by HMRC.

The default judgment states that it has been ordered that Mir, Hussain and Kalimulla be “judged in default of defence” for the total sum of £1,476,406.06. The claim against the second respondent Iftikhar Hussain proceeds as a disputed claim, the judgment said.

The judgment said that the order has been passed on the application of any party without any notice, therefore the MQM respondents are entitled to apply for quashing, modification or stay of the order.

Hussain, Mir and others deny any wrongdoing and the judgment is not an imposition of guilt or criminality as it is a civil matter several years old.

HMRC launched an income tax evasion case against Hussain and his associates during a money-laundering investigation.

After nearly four years of investigation, Scotland Yard found no evidence of money laundering and closed its investigation against Hussain and others, but at the same time, investigators found that the MQM had received donations from Pakistan and around the world. Which was seen as income by HMRC – and there were many people working in the MQM International Secretariat who were being paid a regular monthly salary – some very well paid.

The case focuses on non-payment of wages – a system used by employers to collect income tax and National Insurance contributions before wages are paid.

HMRC said that MQM should have paid tax on the income and donations received, but MQM said it was a non-corporate body and was not required to pay income tax.

It is a matter that became a bone of contention between Hussain and Mir and the late Muhammad Anwar, both of whom handled MQM finances for more than a decade.

The UK government’s HMR determined that MQM leaders had failed to pay nearly £2 million to the National Treasury over a 20-year period to avoid taxes on millions of pounds of large earnings, mainly derived from MQM supporters. It was based on donations. Pakistan.

Three years earlier, the UK government’s tax department fined Hussain’s MQM £2 million for income tax evasion in the same case. The MQM leader has contested the case and continues to argue that he was not responsible for the negligence of his colleagues, who had to keep the accounting books correct and conform to the UK government’s requirements on taxes and income.

The UK government’s tax investigation is based on income, payments and National Insurance contributions that were allegedly not paid from 1995 to 2015.

The MQM founder has opposed the civil proceedings, saying he never earned any money because he never got a job and was not obliged to pay income tax to HMRC.

He has told investigators that he survives on donations given by loyalists in Pakistan and abroad. As the head of a political party, he was tasked with using those funds to maintain his lifestyle free of taxes.

According to MQM London, Anwar and Mir are qualified accountants and were responsible for the financial and tax affairs of the party and founder Hussain. The party states that both had advised Hussain that he need not pay income tax as MQM-London is not a registered and incorporated body and there is no need to pay income tax.

Both Anwar and Mir were named in the HMRC investigation and Hussain’s lawyers have told HMRC that the blame for non-payment of dues and dues should lie on him as he had not personally handled the financial matters.

Muhammad Anwar died three years ago and after his death his name was dropped from the investigation.

since contacted newsMir said he had nothing to do with the MQM’s taxation matters and that Mir would put his case before HMRC.

Mir said he handled the MQM’s finances till 2012 and advised Hussain professionally on these matters.

“I hired a professional accountant firm who looked after the financial affairs of MQM and it was not me who looked after these matters. I advised the MQM founder but my advice was ignored in many matters including taxation issues.

Mir said, “I quit active politics of MQM in 2014 due to differences and worked part-time in MQM office till about 2016 and then completely parted ways with the party leadership.”

“I have instructed my lawyers to engage with HMRC and explain my position,” he added.

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