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Insurance Companies Take Turn at Tax Commission

Jan 31, 2012, 12:28 PM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

Sittings resumed Monday at the Tax Commission session at the High Court in Banjul with the management of various insurance companies taking center stage.

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.


Sunshine Insurance

The managing director of Sunshine Insurance Company, Almamy Jobarteh, informed the commission that the company was incorporated in 2000.

He produced his certificate of incorporation, certificate of business registration and its renewal, and the memorandum of association article for inspection by the commission.

He told the commission that Sunshine is owned by Alhagie Jawara, Alhagie Kutubo Dibba, Alhagie Ebrima Darboe, Alhagie Kebba Singhateh, and others, adding that the shareholders paid their tax as businessmen.

At that juncture, the commission ordered him to provide the names of the shareholders and their contacts as well as the amount they received as dividend.


New Vision Insurance

Biran Bah, managing director of New Vision Insurance, explained to the commission that his company was incorporated in 1998.

Copies of his business certificate and its renewal, as well as corporate tax from 1999 to 2011, were all tendered.

Mr Bah stated that he has 17 staff on his pay roll, and his sales tax from 1999 to 2007 and 2011, as well as his pay as you earn from 2004 to 2011, were all tendered before the commission, but said the 2005 receipt was missing.

The company accountant, Jonathan Dumbuya, who was also called to shed light on some of the issues, told the commission that when he came to the office he did make sure the pay as you earn was paid to the fullest, adding that the chairman is entitled to an allowance of D 15,000 every month.

He added that they had never deducted anything from the dividend of the chairman.


Global Insurance Company

Ebou L. Bittaye, managing director of Global Insurance Company, explained to the commission that Global Insurance Company was established in 1996.

“We have certificate of registration and the business renewal registration certificate,” he added.

His corporate tax from 1999 to 2011, sales tax from 1999 to 2011, pay as you earn from 1999 to 2011 were all tendered.

He said the company has 22 shareholders, and he (the witness) had only one dividend payment to the shareholders, adding that he could not confirm the exact amount paid to the shareholders.

The commission at that juncture, ordered him to provide the names of the shareholders and their contact numbers and how much is paid to them as dividend.


London Gate Insurance Company

London Gate Insurance Company failed to appear before the commission; instead it sent a letter to the commission informing them that for the past two years the company had no managing director, as a result they were not represented at the commission.

After going through the letter, the state counsel applied for the commission to issue a warrant of arrest against London Gate Insurance Company for failing to appear before the commission.

The commission at that juncture issued an arrest warrant against the chairman of London Gate Insurance Company to be arrested and brought before the commission, as “the commission holds him on contempt”.