‘GRA collected over D1.2B in January 2023’
Gambia Revenue Authority’s Commissioner General Yankuba Darboe has said that 2023 is a promising year since in the first month, GRA was able to collect more than D1.2 billion.
He made this disclosure in a recent radio interview at Star FM.
Responding to question on the aftermath of Covid-19 in relation to revenue collection, Mr Darboe explained that for the past three years, life was difficult for everyone including GRA and the government.
“Coming out of Covid, we entered into Russia-Ukraine war, which has its own challenges, but thank God now. And we hope and pray that the war comes to an end, and that in 2023 things get better,” CG Darboe said.
He said that in January, GRA collected more than D1.2 billion, which is promising compared to the previous months over the three-year period during the Covid.
Regarding international trade, he noted, things are improving in terms of imports, while freight charges have also gone down. Previously importing a container was very difficult as there was heavy charge levy on it, he said.
“Thank God now even the cost of commodities is getting down,” he appreciated, saying: “We hope that 2023 things get really brighter and that life comes back to normal.”
He also highlighted some of the challenges faced during revenue collection, saying many people that are engaged in meaningful economic activity in the country are not forthcoming to pay their taxes.
The law on state revenue generation is saying that whoever is engaged in any economic activity should pay their taxes, he emphasised.
He also raised concern over rental income tax, saying that is one of the major areas the authority is facing challenges to raise tax revenue.
This year GRA has identified special units that will be responsible for knocking every door to ensure those collecting rents pay their taxes and in default punitive action would be taken against anyone found wanting, he vowed.
CG Darboe said people must pay or honour their tax obligations to enable a functional government.
He added that GRA is doing everything humanly possible to improve its efficiency through digitalization and the introduction of ASYCUDA, which greatly help the tax authority in the collection of revenue.
He also seized the opportunity to solicit the cooperation of the taxpayers, reiterating that The Gambia is a tax-based economy hence people must pay their taxes or honour their obligations at all cost.
GRA is taking a turning point with a difference thus the authority solicits the cooperation of taxpayers, who should honour their tax obligation in time, the commissioner general said.
CG Darboe also set the record straight, saying that GRA has never increased any taxes. ‘“In fact GRA does not have that mandate; that is the responsibility of the government through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs,” he clarified.Source: The Point