The Revenue Department of the Ministry of Ministry of Finance, has begun the enforcement of taxes owed by out-standing business entities in Ganta.
The Revenue Department is in making sure that other tax payers are in compliance, too.
At least a team of enforcers from the Division of Rural Tax under the National Tax Enforcement Initiative 2014, with an inscription, “Operation Up the Number,” visited three counties, including Grand Gedeh, Nimba and Bong enforcing the collection of uncollectable taxes.
With an instruction or order, “Revenue Maximization Exercise – Pay Your Taxes Now,” compared several businesses in Ganta to pay their taxes.
The officers attempted closing the Sethi Business Center, the Beer Garden Bar and Restaurant as well as other business places in Ganta for delaying to pay their taxes for the past quarter(s).
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer recently, the Director of Rural Tax, Mr. Albert Brown, said due to the budget shortfall in the national budget, which began July 1 2013, the Ministry of Finance under the leadership of Amara Konneh, under National Enforcement Initiative decided to enforce non – compliance tax collection across Liberia.
He said the exercise is targeting the collection of unpaid taxes or taxes that are out-standing.
“We are on the field to enforce uncollectable taxes that are out-standing and to make sure that other tax payers are in compliance,” he explained.
On 8th February, the exercise was carried on in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, where, according to Director Albert Brown and his Regional Director Daniel Jensen Hages, said everything went on well with collection of huge amount of revenue from those believed to be delinquents.
“The exercise covered all categories of businesses, including small businesses, real estate tax and so on but for our threshold we are dealing with small tax payers,” said Regional Director Hages.
The both directors disclosed that during the exercise, they discovered that many business people that early registered as petit and now their businesses have grown above the “petit level”, were still paying taxes as petit traders and so they asked them to pay more than what they paid as petit traders.
There is a penalty attached, accordingly, but the operation continues up to the last day in this fiscal year which ends June 30th 2014.
“Jensen Hages, “Tax is an obligation to all natural and legal persons.”
“In real estate, 10 percent of what you pay as rental should be withheld as your real estate tax and we are looking at sale documents to know the turnover and your presumptive payment,” added.
“We are also looking at the salary structure of an employer, if the salary of an individual falls below the threshold of L$70, 000 per annual, then no problem but if it goes above then you have to pay the tax,” he maintained.
Nimba County had many lucrative business areas including, garages, steel mills (for locally produced liquor known as cane juice), water factories and many, but the revenue officers said the next phase of the exercise will covered sectors of business.
Meanwhile, the Director of Rural Tax, Albert Brown is urging all local authorities to encourage their citizens or business communities to their taxes.
He, however, praised the local administration of Grand Gedeh including the Supt. Soro, City Mayor for the level cooperation provided them in pursuing business people to pay their taxes during the period of the exercise in the Zwedru.