Head of Internal Auditing-National Revenue Authority (NRA), Philip Koroma mentioned that the development of a nation mainly rely on tax revenue generation, while pointing out the purpose of the engagement was as a way of increasing tax compliance in the country. He said that the NRA has been involving banks in the collection of taxes, as he further stated that there has been improvement in tax collection as well as challenges in midst of their undertakings.
He added “today marks another milestone in our history in forging to be a better nation, our relationship has been thriving on the basis of respect, collaboration and consultation in enhancing a healthy tax culture and practices in our society.”
Philip Koroma confirmed that tax has not been a refundable payment, adding that citizens benefit from their tax payer money through development project undertaken by the government. He stated that there has been lots of developmental project to be undertaken by government which the tax paid could be utilized for the realization of such project.
Assistant Director, Revenue and Tax Policy at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Mohamed Amara Salisu said the country needs to find a way of generating more revenue through tax collection. He further mentioned that people are never willing to pay tax and that it only the law that is forcing people to pay tax and that even himself might have evade tax in a situation where there is no law enforcement.
He went on to define tax as it was defined by the IMF Government Finance statistic that is a compulsory, unrequited, non-repayable contributions exacted by a government for public purpose.
Mohamed Amara Salisu stated “when you are looking at tax base, one key component that we use is the Gross Domestic Product - the one that give us a better estimate to measure the tax base.”
Delivering his statement Commissioner, Domestic Tax Department National Revenue Authority, Ibrahim Sorie Kamara pointed out the importance of tax as a huge component in the country’s developmental strives. He called on Sierra Leoneans to stop robbing the state by failing to pay tax, and affirmed how the lack of adequate human resources has been affecting their auditing of business houses in the country.
Ibrahim Sorie Kamara said most business houses have been dogging auditing and that they have always been finding excuses for them not to be audited which according to him has been the usual way of evading tax.
He reiterated that the workshop was a consultation with other expert around the country, adding that all concerns would be looked into.
Tax is said to be a major revenue generation for any state, as it is believed to encourage economic growth in a country.