The Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Thomas Doe Nah on Friday, September 21, held his first face-to-face engagement with scores of business stakeholders, mainly from the large taxpayer category, an LRA release has said.
Large taxpayers are businesses or corporations that have annual turnover of L$30 million and above.
According to the release, Mr. Nah said his engagement with the large taxpayers in Monrovia is about engendering a new way of transacting with the business sector in a people-centered manner, in order to boost tax compliance.
Nah said the approach of meeting the taxpayers and engaging them in discussions is fundamental to creating a more customer-friendly economic environment for revenue collection.
“We intend to reshape our customer relations, but will remain firmed on the implementation of the revenue laws,” Mr. Nah said on Friday, September 21, during the engagement, which was hosted at the Liberia Chamber of Commerce on Capitol Hill.
He then called on taxpayers to find the appropriate means of settling tax obligations, related issues and avoiding bypassing procedures in a dishonest way that he described as “very unfair and unacceptable.”
“If you have problems, let us know so we can discuss them; but don’t do the wrong things, because if we catch you, we will not compromise,” Mr. Nah warned.
He said that the focus of his engagement was more about collaborating and partnering with the business community, key state actors, including the National Investment Commission (NIC), and authorities of the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) in addressing challenges confronting the business sector through a harmonized approach to stimulate economic growth, thereby upping the tax net.
“I am keen on working with other state actors to develop a comprehensive triangular approach of providing a more suitable way to improve our business climate and enhance revenue collection,” Mr. Nah told his audience.
He encouraged taxpayers to make use of the modernized and integrated technologies put in place by the LRA to enhance tax payments.
Nah further called on taxpayers to report issues that affect tax payment to the LRA, so as to develop a way forward in formulating requisite measures and policies to address them.
“Feedback is key to the transformation of everything, so we will need you to give us feedback that will help us institute essential measures,” he said.
Earlier, the first vice president of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, Assad A. Barber, lauded Mr. Nah for initiating the engagement, describing it as a welcomed undertaking.
Barber called on the LRA to do more consultations with the business community and taxpayers before the introduction of reforms and enforcement of new measures.
The gathering discussed a relevant means of enhancing tax payment and improving relationship with the business community, while highlighting views about challenges facing taxpayers.
Key topics included real estate property tax payment, customs obligations and procedures as well as e-Filing.