May 18, 2016, 12:48 PM
Thursday was the turn of the management of the various hotels in the country to appear at the Tax Commission sitting at the High Court in
Established in November 2011 by President Yahya Jammeh, the commission of inquiry looks into tax evasion and other corrupt practices of accountants, legal practitioners, companies, and private persons, medical practitioners and institutions required to pay tax to the Gambia Revenue Authority.
The commission was also mandated, among other things, to ascertain the extent of loss of public revenue resulting from non-payment of capital gains tax, personal income tax and sales tax; and to determine the role of individuals, groups and professional bodies in the evasion and avoidance of tax.
It will also enquire into professional malpractice by members of the public as it relates to obtaining goods through widespread issuance of false and dud cheques and other malpractices by members of professional bodies as these have affected foreign direct investment in The Gambia.
Kairaba Beach Hotel
The managing director of Kairaba Beach Hotel, Mr Gerard Lombardo, told the commission that the hotel was registered in 1991, and later bought by Karafi and Sons in 2004.
The hotel’s business registration certificate, memorandum of association articles, copies of receipts of sales tax, income tax paid by staff and pay as you earn, were all tendered.
African Village Hotel
Francis Njie, managing director of African Village Hotel, told the commission that the hotel was registered in 1997, and he produced evidence to show that.
Copies of the hotel’s memorandum of association articles, as well as certificate of incorporation were tendered before the commission.
Mr. Njie added that the hotel renders accommodation mostly to tour operators, and also sells food and beverages.
He produced copies of receipts of payment of his income tax, from 1999 to 2007, sales tax from 1999 to 2009, and his pay as you earn from 1999 to 2010, which were all tendered before the commission.
The commission at that juncture ordered him to pay all his arrears within one week, and submit the receipt to the secretary of the commission.
He further informed the commission that the hotel has more than 60 staff, and that this drops to 60 staff during the off-season.
Mr Njie revealed that since 2008, the number of guests has drastically reduced, and that he negotiated with the GRA, which asked him to write a letter.
Badala Park Hotel
Lie Mboge, managing director of Badala Park Hotel, was also at the commission and explained that his hotel was registered since 1994.
He produced the certificate of incorporation, the memorandum of the association articles, which were both tendered before the commission.
Mr. Mboge said the hotel provides accommodation for the tour operators, and sells food and beverages.
He said his former accountant had travelled to the
Copies of receipts of his income tax paid, pay as you earn, and sales tax were tendered before the commission.
Mr Mboge stated that since the start of their operations, they have been paying their taxes.
“I started with 20 rooms, and when the British authorities declared the travel ban on the tourists we had difficulties, because the tourists were not coming to The Gambia,” he added.
He also informed the commission that he has 60 staff at the moment.
At that juncture, the state counsel applied for the witness to produce his receipts of deduction of pay as you earn, sales tax returns, as well as the evidence of GRA assessment of Badala Park Hotel.
Bijilo Beach Hotel
The managing director of Bijilo Beach Hotel, Ebrima Bojang, also informed the commission that the hotel was registered.
A copy of the company’s registration was tendered, stating that the hotel was founded in 2000, and began operating in 2001.
The business renewal certificates from 2001 to 2012 were also tendered.
He added that the objective of the business was to provide accommodation, food and drinks.
Receipts of payment of income tax, sales tax and pay as you earn, and certificate of incorporation were all tendered.
Bungalow Beach Hotel
Ardy Sarge, managing director of Bungalow Beach Hotel, commonly known as BB Hotel, stated before the commission that the hotel was registered in 1971, but started operations in 1979.
Mr. Sarge told the commission that up to date, he was paying his taxes.
He tendered copies of his sales tax, income tax, pay as you earn, adding that there are some missing documents.
The commission at that juncture ordered for the missing documents to be submitted to the secretary of the commission.
The managing director of Boabab Holiday Resort, Abdoulie Kandeh, also informed the commission that Baobab was registered since 2000, adding that the name was changed to Baobab Holiday Resort in 2006.
Copies of renewal of business registration, and the copies of the change of name were tendered before the commission.
He added that the hotel is for accommodation and self-catering and that, in 2007, the hotel had only six apartments, adding that they have since developed it.
“I have only three staff. I have never deducted pay as you earn from the salary of the staff, and it was in 2006 I came to know about the sales tax,” he added.
The financial statement of the hotel was also tendered.
Abdul Azziz Khan, managing director of Calabash Hotel, said that the hotel was registered.
Copies of his business renewal certificates were tendered.
He added that the hotel started operations in 2009, adding that they rent apartments, and that six people are working under him.
He tendered his income tax, pay as you earn receipts, from 2009 to 2011.
Cape Point Hotel
Ebrima Bojang, managing director of the Cape Point Hotel, told the commission that the hotel was registered in 1987, adding that he got 49 staff, which has increased to 57 staff.
He stated that the hotel provides accommodation, food and beverages.
“I did not bring the memorandum of association articles,” he added,
Copies of the certificate of incorporation, pay as you earn, sales tax and income tax payments were tendered.
Laico Gambia Hotel
The financial director of Laico Gambia Hotel, commonly known as Atlantic Hotel, Alieu Faal, told the commission that the MD of the hotel was out of town, but there is a new managing director.
He tendered the business renewal registration certificate, incorporation papers and pay as you earn receipts.
Faal told the commission that the hotel started in 1979, and in 2009 it was bought by the Libyans.
The human resources manager of Coco Ocean Resort, Sheikh Tijan Gaye, told the commission that the hotel it was registered in 2009, adding that they have more than 250 staff.
The certificate of incorporation was tendered.
He added that the General Manager, Mr Walter, was out of the country.
He tendered all tax payment receipts ranging from income tax, to sales tax and pay as you earn, and the business registration papers, which were all tendered before the commission.
The managers of Holiday Resort Hotel, Golden Beach Hotel and Dalaba Residence were also at the commission yesterday.