The National Revenue Authority (NRA) has met with legal practitioners at the Miatta Conference hall in Freetown to discuss issues of taxation.
In his opening remarks the chairman of the occasion who is also the deputy commissioner of NRA, Ibrahim Sorie Sesay, said, “we all have rights and responsibilities and in this case the responsibilities of protecting and defending the law lay largely in our legal friends”.
He added that, “we think it is important for them [legal practitioners] to understand exactly what the provisions are and at the same time for them to comply with these legal provisions”.
Mr Sesay stated that, “few days ago we celebrated Independence, the political independence; we need to be economically and physically independent. We need to provide the resources that are needed by government so that we can provide the goods and services needed by the population of this country”.
He lamented that when they talked about development, they talked about the finances that were needed to fund these development and that if people wanted to see the change they must address their rights and responsibilities.
The deputy commissioner pointed out that, “we all know that people talk about taxes, we complain about them; it is time for us to identify each of them”.
In his speech the commissioner Alieu Sesay called on legal practitioners to pay their taxes; failing to pay he said his commission had the authorization to impound their property.
On conveyances and sale of property, he said that a ten percent tax would be levied exclusive on income tax, adding that legal practitioners failing to honour their taxes would have their names given to the press for publication.
Some of the lawyers advised the commissioner that since they were in small numbers they could not talk but rather they would call them to meeting where these issues of taxation would be addressed properly.
Lawyer Philo Edwards, the President of the Sierra Leone Bar Association, raised concerns over lawyers that were just coming in the profession.