LRA Honors Taxpayers

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Liberia's Comptroller and Accountant General, Janga Kowo (left), presents the award for the most compliant petroleum importer to Total Liberia at the LRA Taxpayer Awards program.

The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has awarded several taxpayers who contributed to the domestic revenue during the 2018/2019 fiscal year. The fiscal year begins July 1 and ends on June 30 the following year.

The LRA has for several years now made it a point to recognize taxpayers who, amid constraints, continue to meet up with their civil and corporate obligations.

The fiscal year, according to Commissioner General Thomas Doe Nah, brought in the revenue basket of the country US$525.9 million against the projected 518.9 million, something he said is laudable and for which those taxpayers need to be appreciated. 

Commissioner Doe Nah said the country needs infrastructure and other development, but meeting these development needs requires the contributions of all citizens in taxes, to enable the government to work towards what the country and its people want.

According to him, the global pandemic makes it imperative for every country to rely on its own resource mobilization.

In addition to the appreciation the LRA gives taxpayers every year, the Commissioner-General said there is a need for taxpayers to understand better what their obligations are and why tax collection is essential to the growth and development of a state.

To make tax payment convenient for the payers as a way of motivating them, the Commissioner-General indicated that the LRA has introduced an online platform for payment, which some taxpayers are currently making use of to pay taxes.

Being impressed by the cooperation of taxpayers during the fiscal year, Mr. Doe Nah said Liberia is moving towards the US$1 billion mark. 

Deputy Commissioner-General, Decontee King-Sackie, added that taxpayers need appreciation because their contributions drive development in the country.

This year’s appreciation award highlighted several institutions and individuals who contributed, and said institutions and individuals were categorized into Most Compliant taxpayers and Highest Contributors.

Domestic tax in the total collection accounted for US$293.5 million; large tax, US$178 million; medium tax, $20.9 million; petty traders, $104 million; Natural Resources $60 million; small tax, US$4.5 million; real estate tax, US$5 million; and sector Ministries, $23.4 million.

In the categorization of awardees, the Highest Merchandise Contributor Award for the year went to A-Z Corporation and Abi Jaoudi and Azar Trading Corporation, while the highest Petroleum Contributor went to TOTAL Liberia in the first category and West Oil Investment Liberia Limited in the second category. The highest Land Border Contributor Award went to the Ganta Port of Entry in Nimba County in the first category, followed by Bo Waterside, near the Liberia-Sierra Leonean border in Grand Cape Mount County.

The Most Compliant Importer Award was claimed by Eagle Electrical Corporation in the first category and the Abi Jaoudi and Azar Trading Corporation, in the second and third categories.

The Natural Resource Award went to Firestone Liberia, while the Ministry of Transport became the highest contributor in the Sector Ministries.

Lonestar Cell MTN became the most compliant in the Direct Transfer Platform use while the Birth Certificate Section of the Ministry of Health took the award for the Mobile Money Platform.  There were also several individual and small business operators who claimed awards for being compliant with the obligation in this year’s award.

In a statement, the head of the Council of Chiefs and Elders, Chief Zanzan Kawor, said relying on the national government to borrow money for development purpose will carry the country nowhere, but if its development need must be met, Liberians should be happy and honest to pay their taxes.  The occasion was also attended by Associate Justice Jamesetta Wolokollie.

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