Tax bailiff goes after American University

POSTED: 07/16/14 12:06 PM

St. Maarten – The bailiff for the tax inspectorate has served a distress warrant to the American University of the Caribbean NV. This entity, owned by Chinese-born American immigrant Paul Tien, sold the university in 2011 for $200 million to Devry Inc. Tien owed 25 percent in profit taxes from that deal but in reality he settled with the tax-inspectorate for just $7.2 million.

It is unclear whether the current distress warrant applies to this deal or that there are other fiscal debts involved. The tax inspectorate is by law forbidden from revealing information about individual taxpayers and the fact that the bailiff left a copy of the distress warrant with the prosecutor’s office does not help either to get more clarity.

Prosecutor Tineke Kamps said that the prosecutor’s office signs off on all distress warrants from the tax inspectorate.

Based on the two-weekly publications in the National Gazette, the tax inspectorate is quite busy with these warrants. In the latest editions of the Gazette, that appeared last Friday, there are 67 distress warrants listed. Among them is the /American University but also, to mention one odd example, the Philipsburg Church of Christ Foundation.

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