The Income Tax Appellate Commission, which was set up by government to look into transaction between business people and the Income Tax Department with regards to the payment of tax, has completed a one-day work in Kono.
Speaking to the audience, the chairman for the commission said the essence of bringing the commission to the people was to clearly defined the relationship between the tax-payers to whom such tax should be paid and above all the reason why they should pay tax.
Mr D.B Quee said the reason why countries like America and Britain had improved in terms of their facilities was that the citizens were always ready and willing to pay taxes.
He said no government could succeed if the people refuse to pay tax. He however called on the people of Kono to support the government by regularly paying their taxes.
Mr Quee however warned traders to bring forward complaints especially in a situation where they could have been badly cheated by the Income Tax Department.
He said, “the commission is against cheating and it will do everything within its powers to try anyone found waiting. Business people who have been exorbitantly charged must file a letter to the commission”. But he ruled out the possibility of becoming lenient with anyone who cheat government in tax.
The Principal Revenue Collector Kono said, “tax is compulsory and the Income Tax Department is there to assess and collect tax on anything that will give profit to its owners”.
Mr Basiru Savage said the various institutions set up by government were meant for a purpose and therefore government needed money to run them.
He said tax would be levied according to the projection submitted to the department by the business people themselves. “We don’t just levy tax,” he concluded.
Speaking on behalf of the district chairman, the Senior Administrative Officer said the people of Kono were not paying tax.
Mr Tamba Allieu said, “taxation is something strange to most people in Kono”. He said even the common local tax, which had been agreed upon by everybody, had not been regularly paid.
Mr Allieu said as far as the collection of national revenue was concerned, the district council would ensure it gave its support to the government more especially the Income Tax Department in order to actualize its dream.
He said in as much as the people were asking for good roads, electricity, safe drinking water, they too must play their part by continuously paying taxes.
Section Chief Machendeh, who represented PC Kaimachendey of Gbense, said the idea of paying tax was good. “But the unfortunate side of it is that not every body is prepared to pay,” he noted.
He attacked the human rights office in Kono for unlawfully stopping them to collect local tax. He asked the commission to look into the behaviour of the human rights group and see whether it was correct.
By Jon Bu in Kono