Ganta Business Community Decries ‘Double Taxation’ at BoTA Forum

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Ganta Business leaders at the workshop in the Alvino Hotel

The deduction of 4% as gross domestic tax from business people in Liberia dominated the one day business forum with the Ganta Business Community by the Board of Tax Appeal.

Most of the business people attending the meeting said the 4% tax paid to the government was unrealistic and unfair, because 4% was already collected by a revenue agent assigned at every port of entry in the country.

“We believe the 4% tax is not good, because the same was tax was paid to [government] revenue while entering the country with the same goods,” said Joe Kolonigh, a rice dealer in Ganta.

“The dealers paid the same 4%, while bringing in the goods. It could be rice or any other goods and, when we bought those goods and place them on our shelves, the same revenue asked us to pay 4%,” he added.

“We are paying 8% instead of 4% for the same goods,” Willie Kirberh, another businessman in Ganta interjected.

Some of the business people said it was better for the LRA to tax the businesses just once, instead of taxing the cost of the goods and later taxing the profits on the same goods.

The Board of Tax Appeals on December 7, 2018 held a one day workshop with businesses, educating them on their rights to challenge taxes imposed on them by the LRA, if they feel cheated in the taxation.

The workshop or forum, under the theme, “Know your bill of rights and the importance of tax appeals,” brought scores of business across Ganta and its environs.

However, the Administrator of BoTA, in an interview with the Daily Observer following the workshop, said the complaints of the 4% need to be explained in detail to the business people by the LRA, because it is a common concern from the business community.

He said lots of questions have been asked about 4% as well as the real estate tax, adding that they will be informing the LRA to educate taxpayers on the necessary tax collected.

“LRA is obligated to explain his/her decision and inform the taxpayers about his/her rights and it is your right for LRA to be accountable, ” said one of the facilitators.

“Our process in dispute resolution between the taxpayer and the LRA is independent, accessible to all taxpayers and effective in resolving disputed matters in a timely manner,” Atty, Benjamin B. Steward, Deputy Administrator and Legal officer, explained.

1 COMMENT

  1. Tax compliance is like a foreign concept in the country for numerous reasons so it’s understandable why small business people or entrepreneurs would feel they’re being over-taxed by the government. In America, when a business imports goods from other countries, they have to pay import tax (import duty) on those goods. Then when they sell the goods to the customer, by law they must collect sales tax (average 6.5%) which is remitted to the state where the business exist. Liberian businesses should then price their goods accordingly to cover their costs plus a profit margin. The only difference is in America, the customer pays the sales tax whereas in Liberia, the business pays the sales tax.

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