By Rohey Jadama
The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) has commemorated Tax Payers Day at the Paradise Suites Hotel on Friday, 19th December, 2014.
The objective of this event, according to organizers, is to improve compliance and recognise compliant taxpayers whose contribution continue to make it possible for the government to provide essential services for the people of the country.
In a speech by the president of the republic, delivered on his behalf by the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr. Kebba S. Touray, said the government of the Gambia has continually evolved a business-friendly policy framework for the promotion of a private sector led development. He said the improvement in tax compliance will assist government provide the much needed public goods and services.
“The importance of optimally raising our own resources to secure our sovereignty generally cannot be over emphasized and it is also the only means through which we can actualize our aspirations of a shared prosperity. The continued partnership between the GRA and the taxpayers has made it possible for us to finance our development on a sustainable basis,” said the president.
The government, he continued, with support of development partners notably ECOWAS and International Monetary Fund (IMF) has successfully witness the implementation of the Value Added Tax replacing the Sales Tax. He added that this has enabled them to generate the required resources to invest in economic and social projects and programmes to the benefit of the population.
Speaking earlier, the acting Commissioner General of GRA, Mr. Yankuba Darboe, in his opening remark, said taxpayers play a pivotal role in financing the government development agenda. He said in accordance with best practice, they have set aside this day to recognise and thank their valuable customers.
“These compliant taxpayers we are about to recognise today are indeed the cream of our taxpayer population who have been consistently filing tax returns and making tax payment on or before the due dates, they are also those making the most accurate customs declarations and paying the right duties with minimal intervention from GRA,” said the acting GRA Commissioner General.
He reminded that as the number one revenue collector for the government, GRA is committed to continue strengthening the partnership with their clients through continual engagement and dialogue and that they will also continue to improve their systems, processes and procedures in order to make compliance easy and cost effective.
For his part, the Chairman of the GRA Board of Directors, Mr. Mamour M. Jagne, said the government has introduced revenue administration reforms which have improved efficiency in tax collection and tax payer services.
A number of companies were given awards in recognition for being compliant tax payers in 2014.
By Rohey Jadama