The Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Thomas Doe Nah has called on members of the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) to increase efforts in supporting domestic resource mobilization mechanism on the continent, an LRA press release said.
ATAF comprises tax authorities in the African region who are leading efforts towards initiating concrete programs in order to help the continent step away from aid dependency and move in the direction of a reliable domestic resource mobilization (DRM) revenue flow.
Mr. Nah, who addressed the 5th ATAF General Assembly and Conference held recently in Gaborone, Botswana, emphasized the significance of the Addis Tax Initiative to promote partner countries in enhancing DRM for sustainable development, particularly financing the African Union Agendas 2063, and the United Nations SDGs 2030 respectively.
He lauded the launch of the Consultative Technical Groups of which Liberia is a member. Mr. Nah called on renewed and increasing commitment by donor countries to support the formulation of domestic resource mobilization strategies in developing countries as a milestone achievement for the DRM process and support.
He also urged the Addis Tax Initiative (ATI) member countries to foster the triangular relationship between institutions like ATAF, donors and partner countries to accelerate implementation of the DRM across the continent.
The ATI, among others, is a multinational which intends to generate substantially more resources for capacity building in the field of domestic revenue mobilization/taxation as well as more ownership and commitment for the establishment of transparent, fair and efficient tax systems.
Mr. Nah told the 5th ATAF General Assembly that Liberia, through the LRA, is making serious progress towards expanding the country’s tax base through the formulation of its comprehensive domestic resource mobilization strategy.
He said the key pillar of the strategy is to enhance taxpayers’ knowledge of the tax laws and their rights and obligations, through effective outreach and assessable information.
Mr. Nah indicated that one of the major objectives of the DRM is to diversify, expand and enhance service delivery and consistency in the treatment of taxpayers to attain a high level of client confidence and trust.
“Drawing from Liberia’s just concluded DRM strategy, achieving voluntary compliance would embody firstly wide-spread and inclusive consultations, developing tax programs, and enforcing the social contract between government and citizens,” he pointed out.
Mr. Nah said strong desire to transform tax discount sectors into premium sectors, increase collaboration between tax administrations and governments promote increased public confidence in the tax system, and this plays a vital role in achieving DRM.
He spoke on the topic: “New Challenges and New Opportunities: Improving Voluntary Compliance In Africa.”
Mr. Nah said that taxpayers’ knowledge about tax laws, simplification of the tax laws and the introduction of the best attractive taxing scheme are holistic elements in achieving tax compliance.
He said putting in place prudent expenditure measures by governments also helps to improve voluntary compliance and taxpayers’ trust in getting targetable returns on tax dollars. Governments on the Continent must provide adequate basic social services like hospitals and roads to encourage taxpayers to pay and be more compliant, Nah added.
The 5th ATAF General Assembly and Conference were attended by more than 200 officials from Ministries of Finance and Tax Administrations of 30 African Countries, Development Partners, and representatives of International and regional organizations, academia, and tax practitioners.
Participants highlighted ways and means on how African countries can move beyond aid dependency towards African self-reliance. Discussions focused on the challenges and opportunities facing ATAF members in building strong tax systems to mobilize domestic resources for their national development.