The acting commissioner of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) HajaKallahKamara has said that the commission has collected over Le1.7 trillion exceeding their 2012 revenue targets set by the government of Sierra Leone.
She made this disclosure recently during the NRA’s awards ceremony held last week at the Family Kingdom Complex Aberdeen in Freetown.
She said NRA performed better in 2012 as compared to the other past years due to the current reforms undertaken by the National Revenue Authority (NRA). She stated that the automated systems at NRA have improved the collection of revenue and reduced leakages.
The acting commissioner of NRA commended various levels of taxpayers for their compliance and encouraged them to continue their support towards tax compliance for economic growth and sustainable development.
She added that in 2013 the National Revenue Authority will undertake legislative reforms to promote tax compliant and revenue mobilization.
She said the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has undertaken several development projects in the areas of roads, electricity, health among others from the taxpayers.
She concluded by commending DFID for their technical and financial support to the authority. The outgoing Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr. SamuraKamara expressed delight over the progress made so far by the National Revenue Authority for generating more revenue than expected, which he said is due to staff commitment and tax compliance by tax payers.
He said “our objective as a country is to increasingly rely on our domestic resources for financing government activities so as to fulfill our national aspiration.”
He said NRA has undertaken major transformations during 2012 in the areas of the roll-out of the ASYCUDA customs operations, the establishment of a domestic tax department, a small and medium tax payer regime, modernizing the human resource policies and procedures and upgrading the financial management and accounting systems, governance and management development.
The former finance minister also spoke about plans to make strategic amendments to the Income Tax Act 2000 which will be outlined in the government budget and statements of Economic and Financial policies for the fiscal year 2013.
He also said that government will further ensure the full operations of an automated domestic tax department, merging the traditional income tax, goods and services tax and local excise unit of the customs and excise department into a single operational unit. He also spoke about plans to grant additional powers to the NRA to conduct forensic investigation through the Intelligence and Investigation Unit of the Commissioner General’s Office to detect fraud and other tax evasive activities and practices. He concluded that the government also has plans to ensure the revisions of various obsolete and outdated non tax rates applied for various licenses, charges and fees including those levied by the ministry of works housing and infrastructure, Magistrate and High Courts, Registrar and Administrator General’s Department and pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone.
The award ceremony climaxed with the distribution of awards to most compliant taxpayers, retirees of NRA and most outstanding performance during the year.