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GRA Commissioner-General reappears at Tax Commission

Feb 15, 2012, 12:16 PM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

The Commissioner General of the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), Bakary Sanyang, yesterday reappeared at the Tax Commission sitting at the High Court premises in Banjul.

GRA Commissioner General Sanyang told the commission that the procedure applied in the event that a tax payer defaults is that the GRA enforcement unit, which monitors tax payers, in case of any default, ensures the payer faces a penalty.

Sanyang added that measures are in place to apply for the tax payer to pay tax, and the final option was to prosecute or seizure.

The GRA boss said he was appointed as commissioner of domestic tax in 2007, and his role included the supervision of domestic taxation, general administration of domestic tax, financial auditing and enforcement.

He added that he was answerable to the commissioner at the time, and they worked toward a revenue target, adding that he became the commissioner-general on 9 March 2011.

He further informed the commission that as the commissioner general he is responsible for the general supervision of the GRA, among others, and that every month all the departments submit their reports to him.

He said he also renders advice to the minister of Finance.

Sanyang explained that tax is a debt to the state, and that the persistently accumulation of liability by Africel would not be condone.

He said if GRA has to drag every tax payer to court, there would be no progress, adding that an audit team in place, in consultation with managers, writes to the tax -payers.

The GRA boss further explained that they do everything within their power to make sure that more files are audited, but added that it was not possible to look at every tax payer’s file; instead they sometimes depend on the information given to them by the taxpayers.

He went on to say that there are steps taken to make sure that the bounced cheques are paid, including the penalty and the interest, adding that the interest is supported by law.

At that juncture, the commission ordered the Commissioner General Bakary Sanyang, the commissioner of domestic tax, Musukebba Corr, Deputy Commissioner, Mamour Joof, and Malamin Jatta, the senior tax officer at GRA, to furnish the commission with total expected revenue from sales tax, income tax, and corporate tax from 2007 to 2011.

Also the total liability of income tax, sales tax and corporate tax, from 2007 to 2011; the number of tax payers who issued bounced cheques, from 2007 to 2011, with their names and contacts; as well as the total expected tax due for 2012.

Meanwhile, in yesterday’s story about the Tax Commission, the Commissioner of Domestic Tax at the Gambia Revenue Authority made mention of some companies that the Authority generates more revenue from including the Standard Chartered Bank.

However, the Commissioner did not mention the Standard Chartered Bank as one of the companies that owe the GRA millions of dalasis.

The commission continues sitting.