Mar 4, 2013, 10:53 AM
Management of various hotels in the country Friday continued to appear at the Tax Commission sitting at the High Court complex 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.
Nicolas Williams told the commission that he took over the hotel in 1999, as the managing director, adding that they owed some obligation to the government.
The MD asserted that they have been paying their taxes to the state since the hotel was incorporated in 1987.
He produced the hotel’s business registration certificate, which was tendered, adding that they are not trading any more, from 1999, but are training staff.
His business renewal certificate was also tendered, and Williams further told the commission that the hotel is part of a time-share club.
Copies of receipts of sale tax from 2003 to 2011, pay as you earn from 1999 to 2011, income tax from 1999 to 2011, and his GRA tax clearance certificate were all tendered before the commission.
Guly Mail, General Manager and owner of the Lugies Complex, also informed the commission that he has partners in business, and he started operation in 1995, with a restaurant containing four rooms, adding that they were incorporated in 1995.
His business registration certificate and the renewal certificates from 1995 to 2011 were tendered, and he told the commission that he has 60 staff.
Copies of his income tax from 1999 to 2011, sales tax from 1999 to 2011, his tax clearance certificate, pay as you earn from 2001 to 2011, were all tendered, but pay as you earn from 1999 to 2000 are missing.
He said the receipts were old and he has searched everywhere, but nowhere to be found.
Mansea Beach Hotel
The managing director of Mansea Beach Hotel, Buba Drammeh, told the commission that he took over the hotel on 1st November 2011, adding that the owners of the hotel are Nigerians.
He stated that the hotel started in 1996, as Banna Beach Hotel, and it changed ownership in 2003 to
He revealed that those documents are with the owners, adding that he inherited 30 staff and he added 20 to that.
His sales tax receipts from 2005 to 2008 were tendered.
Mr. Drammeh stated that he could not retrieve other sales tax receipts, adding that the hotel is in financial straits, and the owners have decided to sell it.
He revealed that a staff income tax balance of one million, eight hundred and nineteen thousand was paid to the GRA.
PNP Limited Trading
Peter Emgels, the proprietor of PNP Limited Trading, informed the commission that his company was incorporated in 1999, adding that his certificate of incorporation was not within his reach.
He said that he started business in 1999, with breakfast and accommodation.
Receipts of his income tax, sales tax, pay as you earn from 1999 to 2011, were all tendered. He said that he has 66 staff.
The commission ordered him to submit his business registration and renewal certificates to the secretary of the commission.
Ocean Bay Hotel
Odenwald Juergen, the General Manager of the Ocean Bay Hotel, told the commission that the hotel was registered since September 2009, stating that the hotel was incorporated by the Social Security Housing Finance Corporation.
He said the hotel commenced operations in 2004, and they took over from the SSHFC, and changed its name to Ocean Bay Hotel.
He added that they had 248 staff, adding that the incorporation certificate.
The GM claimed that they were exempt from paying income tax, adding that he would forward the document that exempt them from paying income tax.
His sales tax from 2004 to 2011, pay as you earn from 2004 to 2011, were all tendered.
Mr. Juergen told the commission that he got to know about the exemption three months ago, and he could not say the reason.
The commission ordered him to furnish the commission with the certificate showing that Ocean Bay Hotel staff were exempt from paying income tax, and his staff deduction schedules, to the commission.
Peter Vander Hall, the managing director of Omakan Hotel, told the commission that the hotel was registered in 2007, adding that it is a hotel where the guest can stay but is a small one with 13 rooms, and he has staff working under him.
He tendered his income tax from 2007 to 2009, and his assessment certificate.
“I did not pay sales tax from 2010 to 2011, my pay as you earn from 2010 to 2011, and receipt of pay as you earn deduction for 2010, and the assessment 2007 to 2009,” he said.
The commission at that juncture ordered him to make available his missing documents to the commission through the secretary of the commission.
Palma Rima Hotel
The managing director of the Palma Rima Hotel, Ebrima Sowe, told the commission that Palma Rima Hotel was registered, and a copy of his business registration and the memorandum of association articles and the incorporation certificate were all tendered.
Mr. Sowe said the hotel provides accommodation, food and beverages, adding that the number of his staff fluctuates between 30 to 40, and that the hotel is operating for only six months in the year.
His income tax from 1999 to 2011, sales tax from 1999 to 2011, pay as you earn from 1999-2011, were all tendered.
He added that they started operations in 1989, and a photocopy of schedule of pay as you earn and his staff deductions were all tendered.
Paradise Suites Hotel
Sulayman Faal, accountant of Paradise Suites Hotel, told the commission that the hotel was established in November 1999, and started operations in 2000. A copy of the renewal of the business registration certificate from 2004 to 2011 was tendered.
Faal stated that
He explained that in 2005, they increased their services to include conference services, restaurant and catering,
From 2000 to 2005, there was no permanent staff, but currently they have between 40 to 75 staff, according to Faal.
He produced his income tax from 2001 to 2011, sales tax from 2001to 2011, evidence of remittance of pay as you earn from 2003 to 2011, which were all tendered.
Rock High Hotel
Casalieu Gillen, the managing director of Rock High Hotel, told the commission that the hotel is a guest house, and was registered. He produced copies of his business registration and renewal certificates, which were tendered.
The MD added that they started operations in 2005, after being registered in 2005, and provide accommodation.
Photocopy of his income tax from 2005 to 2011, sales tax from 2007-2011, of the remittance of pay as you earn from 2005 to 2011, were all tendered.
The state counsel applied for the witness to produce the evidence of deduction of staff income tax, pay as you earn from 2005 to 2011, and submit it to the commission.
The managing director of Sarges Hotel, Ardy Sarge, informed the commission that the hotel was registered in 2005, in his name, adding that he bought the hotel as Taf-Bel and later changed its name to Sarges Hotel.
The photocopies of the renewal of the business registration and the memorandum of association articles were tendered.
He said the hotel provides accommodation, food and beverages and has 33 staff.
The evidence of payment of the corporate tax from 2006 to2011, sales tax from 2005-2011, evidence of remittance of pay as you earn and of deductions were all tendered.
Sea Front Hotel
Seif Mahmoud, managing director of the Sea Front Hotel, also tendered the change of name from Concord to Sea Front Hotel, and the renewal of the business registration certificate, the memorandum of association articles were all tendered.
She added that the hotel started operations in January 2012, but it was registered in 2003.
She said that the business is a family business, and they render services of accommodation, food and beverages.
Her payment of corporate tax from 2008 to 2012, were tendered.
Muhammed Jaiteh, financial director of the Seaview Hotel, also notified the commission that the hotel was registered in 2004, adding that it is a personal business.
Copies of their business renewal registration was tendered.
“We provide accommodation, food and beverages, and we have about 22 staff,” he added.
Evidence of payment of income tax, from 2008 to 2009 to 2010, sales tax from 2005 to 2011, remittance of pay as you earn from 2005 to 2011, were tendered.
The commission ordered him to submit any other missing documents to the commission through the secretary.
Senegambia Beach Hotel
Bunama Njie, managing director of Senegambia Beach Hotel, told the commission that the hotel was registered as
He disclosed that the hotel used to be a hotel of the
He added that they provide accommodation, food and beverages, pointing out that from 1st November to 30th April every year they employed between 235 to 240 staff, but its goes down to 80 and 90 staff during the off-season.
The witness at that juncture provided documents, but the commission retuned them to him, and asked him to go back and bring clear documents which were also properly arranged by subject matter.
Mac Wozniak, managing director of Sheraton Gambia Resort, informed the commission that the hotel was established in October 2002 by MA Karafi & Sons, adding that the hotel provides accommodation, food and beverages.
He stated that currently the hotel has 289 staff, but in the off-season this drops to 139.
His income tax from 2007 to 2011, sales tax from 2007 to 2011, and domestic tax from 2009 to 2011, the special investment certificate of business registration and the memorandum of association of articles, certificate of incorporation, as well as monthly sales tax deduction were all tendered.
He was ordered by the commission to submit the staff deduction schedules to the commission through the secretary of the commission.