Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) recently concluded a two-day regional tax
sensitisation seminar in Essau for over twenty businessmen and women drawn from
various communities in the North Bank Region.
According to GRA officials, the sensitisation forum held at the Essau Health Centre Conference Hall, was part of their efforts to educate and sensitise the general public on taxes it administers.
Participants at the forum were taken through the personal or individual business income tax, chargeable income computation, on who is liable to pay individual business tax, objections and appeals of tax decisions amongst others.
Speaking at the forum, GRA director of management service, Alieu Bittaye, said the forum was organised to sensitise and educate tax payers and business communities about GRA laws.
He explained that the seminar was special in many aspects to GRA, given the fact that it brings together business communities at the local level whose participation would facilitate tax compliance.
“Given the fact that GRA is a merger of two government institutions of customs & excise and central revenue departments, it is justifiable for us to interact with the taxpayers, listen to their concerns relating to tax payment in The Gambia and find solution to those concerns,” he said.
He said the forum gives great hope and confidence given the possible impact that would be generated from the networking with the various regional administrators and the business communities.
The forum, he hoped, would also help in the modernisation of the tax systems and improved reforms recently undertaken by government which aimed at promoting macro-economic stability, improving revenue mobilisation and promoting efficiency in resource allocation among others.
The forum was also part of series of programmes being undertaken with key stakeholders in the country to deepen understanding and improve compliance, he added.
He said: “It is our hope that the participants will continue to support the implementation of the government’s tax reforms for nation building.”
Bittaye also called on the business owners to continue engaging GRA whenever the need arises.
He extolled the government and UNDP for their support and collaboration on the implementation of the country’s tax reforms.
The GRA tax compliance director, Matty Njie Senghore, called on the business sector to always consult the GRA on any difficulties they face with regards to tax and its related issues.
She said if collaboration between the taxpayers and the tax collectors is smooth the difficulties faced in the areas of tax would be the thing of the past.
Adding his voice, the health regional director of NBR, Sutay Drammeh, said the importance attached to paying tax could not be overemphasised, given the importance it has on the country’s economy.
He called on the participants to take the knowledge gathered from the forum to their various businesses to avail others who could not participate the opportunity to also understand issues relating to tax.