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Sierra Leone News: NRA starts mobile tax clinics

The National Revenue Authority (NRA) has over the weekend launched its mobile tax clinic, a service which seeks to enable taxpayers inquire for information at different locations.
With this new service, taxpayers and their agents can now request for information from NRA through any of their mobile points instead of going to the NRA district offices. Available information services include Domestic Tax Services, Customs Services and other public tax information.
The Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) is funding the tax payer education activities under its Economic Governance and Advancement Program, which was launched in May 2018.
NRA’s partnership with OSIWA would significantly help in their sensitization drive in mobilizing revenue to expand the economy and in the near future to make tax services more convenient and transparent to taxpayers.
Domestic Tax Department (DTD) Assistant Commissioner Alfred Akibo-Betts says the authority plans to roll out robustly its tax education activities by providing taxpayers with multiple avenues through which they can access NRA services.
“We decided to come down to the business district especially along Siaka Stevens Street to start this process, so we can have business people to come and ask questions and we will be moving from shop to shop educating them and issuing leaflets that will guide tax payers” said the Asst. Commissioner.
Akibo-Betts who was speaking at the launch, added that in relation to their Customer Service Charter, they want to provide good services to Businesses, even if it means getting to their doorstep.
He cautioned that it does not matter whether a person has a business or not but it is obligatory for any individual to obtain a GST receipt or invoice after a transaction which requires it to be issued.
GST rate attracts 15% on the value of taxable supplies, Corporate Income Tax is 30%, chargeable on income/profit, and Withholding tax is 5% for local contractors and 10% for foreign contractors.
Other taxes include the Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), Payroll, Foreign travel, Capital Gains, Individuals and Partnerships and Rental taxes.
“The NRA is committed to collecting enough revenue for government to meet its responsibilities, … we need to be independent from donor funding. We also want to encourage those who are non-compliant to take the cue, mend their ways and begin to pay taxes,” he said.
The mobile tax clinics will be replicated across the country in the coming weeks and months to sensitise the public on taxation and its crucial role in state building. Akibo-Betts says it’s important for the public to appreciate paying taxes and the role they can play in making state building a success.
By Zainab Iyamide Joaque
Tuesday June 12, 2018.

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