The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has recognized and awarded 39 devoted taxpayers for their firm commitment to tax payment by meaningfully contributing to the revenue envelope of the country, a release has said.
The awardees were selected based on their respective tax contribution and performance during the 2016/2017 fiscal year. Each awardee was given a plaque certificate and a one-year tax clearance certificate.
According to the release, GSM operator Orange-Liberia received the Bronze Award as the Highest Tax Contributor nationwide, followed by Monrovia Club Breweries which got the Silver Award as the second highest.
ACTIVA International Insurance Company Limited was awarded as the Most Compliant Taxpayer Nationwide; Firestone Liberia got the Most Compliant Taxpayer in the Natural Resource Sector, while ArcelorMittal clinched the highest tax Contributor in the Natural Resource Sector.
“ArcelorMittal is the largest foreign investor in Liberia, and one of the largest contributors in terms of taxes and royalties paid. The company’s use of good corporate governance, which relies on consistency, responsibility, accountability, and fairness, was instrumental to our recognition by the LRA,” the iron ore mining company said in a statement following the event. “The company acknowledges that the effort of its diligent and conscientious staff contributed significantly to winning this esteemed award and thanks the Government of Liberia for recognizing it as a development partner and contributor to capacity and infrastructure building for a financially strong Liberia.”
Receiving the award from Mr. Bright and Commissioner King-Sackie, Orange Liberia’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Mamadou Coulibaly said that the recognition from the LRA was highly appreciated. He said that Orange Liberia was delighted to have qualified for the award barely a year after entering the Liberian telecommunications market. “As a company, we are very committed to paying our taxes and abiding by all the laws and regulations of the Government of Liberia,” said Mr. Coulibaly. “We are proud and excited to be able to support the Government in achieving its pro-poor agenda.” Mr. Coulibaly went on to thank Orange customers for their loyalty, noting: “It is only because of the loyalty of our customers that we have been able to earn the revenue to become the number one tax payer in Liberia; so we thank all of our customers for making this success possible.”
In the medium Tax Category, according to the release, ARD TETRA TECH, Aluminum Kassir Incorporated, and Monroe Chicken got awards for being Most Compliant. Smartech Incorporated, and John Building Material were recognized as being Most Compliant in the Small Tax Division, while Kumba Joseph who trades in Waterside received the Most Compliant Petty Trader Award.
In the Real Estate Tax category, Andrew Fallah of Foya, Lofa County, was the highest contributor for Residential Property, Boulevard Palace clinched the highest for Commercial Property as Momolu V. Sirleaf of CEMENCO and Frances Cooper were awarded respectively as highest contributors Industrial property and vacant land.
In the Customs Tax category, TOTAL- Liberia was awarded as the highest value importer in the petroleum industry while Abi Joudi & Azar Trading Corporation, A-Z Corporation and Fouani Brothers where the highest import value in the merchandise sector. AFROPA collected the Most Compliant Importer Award.
The Most Compliant Customs Broker/Clearing Firm award was shared by Safeway Cargo, DESAC Group, Lemus Clearing and Faith International Clearing Agency. Nimba County was recognized as the highest contributing county to border import taxes.
The Officer-In-Charge of the LRA, Decontee T. King-Sackie, who spoke at the event marking this year’s Taxpayer Appreciation Day on Friday, July 27, in Monrovia, praised the taxpayers for their vital contribution to Liberia’s domestic revenue mobilization.
“Thanks for being so faithful and willing to contribute to the revenue envelope of the Government of Liberia as you have all exhibited exemplary performances based on the criteria that was set,” she told the awardees.
Madam Sackie pointed out that the hosting of the event marks a culture of reinforcing voluntary compliance to drive an increase in domestic resource mobilization within Liberia in line with the country’s development agenda.
She indicated that as a result of the commitment of taxpayers to pay their fair share, revenue collection was gradually increasing, evidenced by the collection of 91 percent of the revenue basket from domestic sources during the just ended 2017/2018 fiscal period as compared to the 88 percent accrued in 2016/2017 fiscal period.
Prince Moye, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, recognized the importance of the taxpayers, stressing that their contributions were vital in supporting government’s programs and activities.
Charles Bright, Economic Adviser to President George Weah, lauded the LRA for highlighting the efforts of the taxpayers by hosting an event to recognize and appreciate them.
“With the fact that you have voluntarily paid your taxes, and in such large amounts, Liberia is grateful and we thank all of you for the commitment and dedication,” Mr. Bright said.
USAID (United States Aid for International Development) Acting Mission Director, Mervyn Farroe, urged government to make the best use of the taxes collected so as to impact the well-being of the taxpayers.
He praised the commitment of taxpayers in paying their taxes to support development.
Coulibaly, who also spoke on behalf of the awardees, thanked the LRA for the recognition. He said as taxpayers, they will continue playing their respective roles in supporting the government to achieve its development goals.
“Tax payment is a duty and we are proud to support the government’s Pro-poor Agenda by paying our taxes,” he said.
The Taxpayer Appreciation Day event was also a commemoration of the celebration of the fourth anniversary of the formation and operations of the LRA.
In its maiden edition in July 2017, the LRA awarded 33 taxpayers in several categories.