Dec 28, 2012, 8:54 AM
Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA), in collaboration with the Gambia Technical
Training Institute (GTTI), on Thursday organised a daylong seminar on tax
payment and Value Added Tax (VAT) for GTTI students and GTTI staff.
The training session, held at the GTTI school grounds, aimed at increasing the student’s awareness and knowledge on taxation, as future taxpayers, thereby strengthening their moral obligation to pay taxes voluntarily.
Deputy Director for Compliance, Taxpayer Education and Training, Sulayman Barry, who deputised for GRA’s Commissioner General at the function, said GRA as the main revenue collection agency for the government “is committed to ensuring that they play their rightful part in the mobilisation of domestic financial resources, to enhance the country’s financial independence and sovereignty.”
In this regard, Mr Barry explained, they encourage and promote collaboration with stakeholders, and look forward to continuing their support to enable GRA discharge its mandate efficiently and effectively, for the benefit of the country.
“As a tax authority, we are aware that to attain voluntary compliance, tax education plays a crucial role. This is why the authority invests significantly in the taxpayer education programme.”
They also recognise the fact that for a long-term cultural shift, it is important that tax education and awareness is provided at the early stages of development.
“The extension of our taxpayer education programme to the schools and colleges, therefore, reflect the efforts we are making to bring about a long-term cultural shift in attitudes and behaviour towards taxes.”
The college stage is a crucial time to educate young people in tax matters as part of their transition to the job market, he added.
Barry continued: “Our main aim for organising this seminar is to increase your awareness and knowledge as future taxpayers, thereby strengthening your moral obligation to pay taxes voluntarily.
“We also expect that when you are equipped with tax knowledge, you will be in a position to positively influence the attitudes of your parents/guardians and, by extension, your respective community members.”
He further stated: “As the youth of the nation, you are important agents of change, and with increased awareness in tax matters, the tax literacy of the country can be enhanced and, by extension, create a future in which paying taxes is regarded as a vital civic duty.”
The Director of Academics at GTTI, Edward C. Mansal, thanked GRA for organising the training course for students and their staff, which he said was timely.
Mr Mansal announced that GTTI had incorporated into their diploma programmes the Micro and Small Enterprise Promotion Training (MSEPT) course.
The programme, he said, is aimed at providing basic training to students to be job creators rather than job seekers.
“Therefore, being privileged to attend this training will contribute immensely towards being effective and efficient in the role we can and should play in domestic resource mobilization.”
He challenged the beneficiaries to share the knowledge gained from the seminar with their partners not present.