The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) last Thursday convened tax sensitisation forum for students of The Gambia College at the College main hall in Brikama.
Speaking at the seminar, Sulayman Barry, Deputy Director Compliance, Taxpayer Education and Training at GRA, said that the seminar is part of GRA’s attempt to educate and sensitise the general public on tax and how it is administered.
The event, according to him, is special in many ways given the fact that the forum also gathered traditional rulers at the local level, whose authority would help facilitate tax compliance among their people.
He informed the gathering that the Income and Value Added Tax Act was passed into law by the National Assembly in June and became operational in January 2013, replacing the Sales Tax that was in existence for many years.
According to him, these efforts are geared towards modernising the tax system, thereby improving compliance.
Barry remarked that the objectives of the legal and financial management reforms recently undertaken by government are aimed at promoting macro-economic stability; improve revenue mobilisation; promote efficiency in resource allocation among others.
The seminar, he added, is part of series of programmes being undertaken with key stakeholders in the country to deepen the understanding and improve compliance. He expressed hope that the forum will impact positively on the participants especially on the importance of networking with students.
He thanked the Government of The Gambia and the United Nations Development Programme for their support and collaboration on the implementation of tax reforms and urged participants to participate fully to improve their knowledge and understanding on tax issues.
For his part, Baboucarr Jallow, principal of The Gambia College, thanked GRA for selecting his institution to conduct the tax sensitisation, saying the institution will always open its doors to people in a bid to promote government policies at the grassroots.
“As a College we welcome such training and hope that this kind of training will continue.”
He expressed appreciation to the management of GRA for the move, saying they will continue to work with them when it comes to tax education.
by Aji Fatou Faal-Sonko