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Tax Commission progresses

Dec 22, 2011, 1:11 PM | Article By: Malamin Conteh

The commission of inquiry into tax evasion yesterday continued sitting at the High Court Complex in Banjul.

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.

Lawyer R. Y. Mendy

Lawyer R. Y. Mendy told the commission that she was called to the bar in 1994, and started her practice under Lawyer Darboe, adding that she later left for the UK and came back.

She added that she again left for the UK in 1996 and returned to the Gambia in 1999, adding that she resumed practice under Lawyer Darboe, and that since July 2007 she has paid her taxes to date.

Lawyer Mendy explained that in 2007, she decided to open her own office, as a result she went to the GRA, where she was asked to pay D3, 000, which she did.

Her tax payment receipts were admitted and marked as evidence. 

Almamy Fanding Taal

Almay Fanding Taal, who promised to furnish the commission during a previous appearance, tendered his payment receipts of both income tax and sales tax to the commission, as an employee of the Real Time Consulting Company, which were admitted and marked.

Amina Saho-Ceesay

Amina Saho-Ceesay told the commission that she was enrolled to the Gambia bar in 2004, and was called to the bar in 2004 in Sierre-Leone. She informed the commission that she was appointed as a First Class Magistrate in 2004, and was the first chairman of the children’s court in Kanifing.

She added that she was appointed as the Sheriff of the High Court in 2007 and later as Master of the High Court in 2008, and a High Court judge in 2009.

She said she started coming to court six weeks ago to hold briefs.

Abdoulie Sissoho

Lawyer Abdoulie Sisoho told the commission that he was called to the bar in 2002, and commenced working at the AG’s Chambers.

He said he resigned in 2008, and started working for his father to set up the motel, noting that he was not actively involved in legal practice.

Sissoho revealed to the commission that the motel was generating income, but he was not earning anything from it, but the motel was providing everything for him.

He added that in 2010, he did some legal work, but has not got an office.

Receipts of his income tax payment were admitted and marked by the commission.

Kombeh Gaye-Coker

Lawyer Kombeh Gaye-Coker, a private legal practitioner, was called to the bar in England in 2004 and enrolled to the Bar in the Gambia in 2004.

She told the commission that since 2005, she was working with Lawyer Antouman A.B. Gaye, adding that she is an employee at the chamber.

 She pointed out that her employer had paid her income tax, adding that she is not liable to pay sales tax.

Lawyer Kombeh Gaye-Coker told the commission that when she started in 2005 she was not on salary, adding that when she started earning an allowance from her father, they were advised to pay tax.

 Her pay as you earn tax receipts were admitted and marked by the commission.

Amina Jawara-Manga

Amina Jawara-Manga, a legal practitioner, was called to the bar in 2004, in England and in the Gambia in 2005.

She also told the commission that she worked at the AG’s Chambers, and later joined the African Union, adding that she was not mandated to pay tax, because she is working with the African Union.

She said she has evidence to show that she is working with the African Union, and she could provide it to the commission at the next sitting.

Sittings of the commission continue on 11 January 2012.