In their bid to strengthen tax compliance in the country, The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) recently held a day-long tax seminar for local authorities in the Central River Region.
The forum, held at the regional education conference hall in Janjangbureh, availed the participants the opportunity to have an overview of Personal Income Tax, VAT implementation in The Gambia, the Rental Income Tax as well as the Payroll Tax.
Deputising the Commissioner General of the Gambia Revenue Authority, Sulayman Barry, Deputy Director, Compliance Taxpayer Education and Training at GRA, underscored the significance of the forum, indicating that such kind of forum is part of GRA’s efforts to sensitise and educate the public on tax and how it is administered.
Barry posited that compliance can only be achieved when the tax payers understand their tax obligations; hence their motivation to organise such a forum to educate the public. “If people understand their tax obligations they are more likely to comply with their tax payment. Today’s forum is important in the sense that it brought traditional rulers and local authorities in the region,” he added.
He stated that the Income and Value Added Taxes were passed into law by the National Assembly in June 2012 and became operational in January 2013 replacing the Sales Tax that was in existence for so many years.
The GRA official highlighted the objectives of the legal and financial management recently undertaken by the Government of The Gambia, as: to promote microeconomics, improve revenue mobilisation, promote efficiency in resources allocation, among others.
The seminar, he added, was part of series of programmes being undertaken by GRA with key stakeholders in the country with a view to deepening the understanding of people on their tax obligations and compliance. “It is our hope that people will continue to support the implementation of the government tax reforms for national development”.
The Deputy Director went on to commend the Government of The Gambia and other stakeholders for their support to the implementation of its tax reform, while urging the participants to participate well so as to improve their knowledge and understanding on their tax obligations.
The Deputy Governor for the Central River Region, Malang Saibo Camara, emphasised the importance of the tax seminar in widening participants’ understanding on the personal income tax, rental income tax and others.
He butressed the fact that when people do not understand their tax obligations they can default.
“The development aspiration of the country cannot be achieved without the full participation of the citizenry. Therefore, it should be our collective effort to participate in national development, one of which is through the payment of our taxes”.
The Chief of Janjangbureh, Bakary Jam Jawo thanked GRA for organising such a seminar in the Central River Region, while affirming their continuous support towards revenue and tax collection in the country.
by Momodou Jawo in Basse, URR