On the re-opening of SLPP Office … “We would never encourage violence” John Benjamin...

Sierra Leone News: NRA seals D&S, Yagala, Jagiko and Topman for Le4bn debt

The National Revenue Authority (NRA) has said that its ongoing crackdown on tax-defaulting businesses in Freetown and other parts of the country has become a continuous process designed to deepen the tax paying culture.
On Thursday August 2, four businesses in Freetown were sealed off over their failure to meet their tax obligations totaling Le4billion (Le 4,042,249,481.68).
NRA Officials claim D & S Associate of 112 Circular Road owes the Authority Le1.6 billion (Le1, 689,035,413.68.) Musa R. Antar of Yagala Enterprises of 58 Wilkinson Road Le2 billion (Le 2,021,924,943) and Jagiko Enterprises of 6 Lumley Street some Le326 million (Le326, 289,125) of Income Tax liabilities.
For D & S Associate, the Authority says it reviewed their assessment for the period 2014 to 2018, and had communicated this with the company.
The NRA said D&S failed to comply with the provisions of the Income Tax Act 2000, so as a result their premise was sealed as an enforcement tool.
On the reason for this four years assessment review, James replied that it is based on new information available to the Authority now, “NRA can even assess you now even though they have done it six years ago and we have reason to review we will do that assessment. It is not that we do not want to come but that it is only now we got the information” he said.
Topman Communications of 18 Siaka Stevens Street was sealed because they failed to file in their 2017 Income Tax Returns which now attracts a penalty of Le5,000,000.
“Topman failed to submit their returns even after we have sent a penalty letter followed later with a notice of intention to seal within 24 hours, they did not respond to any of our correspondences” said Vandy Richard James, Acting Manager Collection, Compliance and Monitoring in the Small and Medium Tax Office in the Domestic Tax Department (DTD).
By law all businesses are required to submit their Income Tax Returns within three months at the start of a new year. As a result, for non-compliance the NRA has sealed off their premises.
Manager Bai Bai Sanko of Topman, agrees that they were notified by the Authority as he personally signed for it, but argued that he only received it on the 30th August, 2018 but that the said letter was dated August 22, 2018.
“The deadline has not elapsed, … we have explained to them but they failed to listen, we sent our accountant to take the papers for 2017 on Wednesday 1 August, 2018 and to even make payment for the first quarter of 2018” said Sankoh. “It came as a surprise of which we have done and we have the papers to prove. We have to pay the penalty as we cannot challenge the government.”
James cautioned tax payers to honour whatever correspondence they receive from the Authority and further urged them to comply with their statutory obligations of making payments for Income Tax, Goods and Services Tax (GST), Withholding Tax (WHT) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE).
Explaining the processes that they used to get defaulters to comply, James said that they are notified of whatever liability or whatever law they need to comply with and a deadline to respond is stated.
For letters dealing with payments they are also given a deadline to pay back, followed with a notification of whatever enforcement action they will take and if they still fail to comply the NRA will move with the enforcement action. Penalties are imposed based on whatever is owed and is done in accordance with the law.
By Zainab Iyamide Joaque
Friday August 03, 2018.

Comments are closed.