Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) has held a seminar with the business community
in the North Bank Region, aimed at sensitising the community with the ultimate
aim of enhancing their tax compliance level.
“This regional taxpayers forum is a platform where we discuss with the business community and regional authorities, including the governor and alkalolou, as part of efforts to help smoothen the taxpaying process and procedure,” Matty Njie-Senghore, GRA director of Tax Compliance and Education Unit, said at the opening of the two-day seminar held in Essau village.
She said the seminar was organised for GRA officials to interact with the business community, taxpayers, so as to know their concerns and share ideas with them “just to ensure that taxpayers know their obligations in paying tax.”
“GRA has been engaging the district authorities all over the country, sensitising them on the importance attached to tax payment,” Mrs. Njie-Senghore said. “This is because if you know what you are supposed to do and when you are supposed to do it, I think then you will voluntarily comply.”
She reiterated that the rationale behind the forum was to share ideas with the taxpayers, discuss with them the different types of taxes at GRA to make sure that they know who is liable to pay what kind of tax and when the tax is to be paid and the penalties for any default.
During the seminar at Essau, many participants said when they hear the name of GRA, they feel scared, but the senior GRA official said the purpose of the forum was to eradicate such mindset.
“We are partners in development,” Mrs. Njie-Senghore she said of the GRA’s relationship with the business community.
Many of the forum participants also raised eyebrows with the high rate of taxation levied on goods and services in the country, saying the government should reduce the tax burden so that businesses can have space to grow.