By Dil BolaRabat – Confusion has arisen over tax agencies responsible for “notice to third holder” (ATD) after a man attempted suicide Sunday at the Regional Directorate of Taxes of Marrakech. The individual had received an ATD. The ATD is a method used by the public collector in which banks block the accounts of an individual who owes back taxes. The public collector then seizes the balance, along with future deposits, in order to recover public debts. Following the attempted suicide, many blamed the General Management of Taxes (DGI)—one of many agencies within the sphere of public debt collection—for seizing funds. The DGI, however, rejected the accusations made as the notice received is not a result of their services.  The DGI is primarily responsible for corporate tax (IS), income tax (IR), and domestic value-added tax (VAT), along with registration, stamping and special annual taxes on motor vehicles. In contrast, the General Treasury of the Kingdom (TGR) is concerned with collecting the business tax, the municipal services tax, and the housing tax. Additionally, they collect transactional or lump sum fines along with monetary penalties.Following a wave of recent ATDs sent just after deadlines to pay several taxes, it has become clear the TGR is chiefly concerned with enforcement procedures. The means of enforced recovery differ, ranging from the seizure and sale of goods, the notice to third holder, and a ban on the sale of vehicles and goods. Prior to taking such enforcement actions, the administration must notify the taxpayer of the exacted claims amicably. Taxpayers may appeal to local or national tax commissions, or to the courts in event of administrative abuse. Public authorities have become more relentless as public finances continue to deteriorate. Due to a fall in tax revenues and increase in expenses, Morocco’s budget deficit has widened by 66 percent or an expected MAD 20 billion. Further, the TGR stated at the end of 2016, unrecovered taxes surpassed MAD 40 billion. Many maintain that despite the legality of these practices, they are too harsh and inflexible. In the face of mass amounts of public debt, citizens must ask if the state is within its rights to seize what is owed in order to continue running the state?

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