Montserrado County Superintendent, Florence Brandy says for taxpayers to gain courage and faithfully pay their taxes, there should be tax returns paid to them to enhance their development.
Tax returns is an incentive set by government for an individual taxpayer or a region that is regular and efficient in paying government taxes.
Superintendent Brandy made the suggestion on January 29 in Bentol during Community Partnership for Revenue Enhancement consultation organized by the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).
Acting Assistant Commissioner for Real Estate Tax Division, Mrs. Juanita Bropleh and other officials of the LRA had gone there for the first time to begin community partnership awareness with people of the county to see reason to pay government taxes for the advancement of development in the country.
Beginning the suggestion, Superintendent Brandy expressed that tax payment was very essential in a country as it relates to development and it was important for people to learn to pay their taxes.
She further stressed that people had engaged lands all over Montserrado County and other parts of the country and do not care to develop those lands, calling on government to be decisive in claiming any land on which owners refuse to pay tax.
Nevertheless, the Superintendent in her assertion said while it is obligatory and essential to pay taxes, collectors also need to create the conditions for taxpayers to have the zeal by receiving returns on taxes they pay.
According to her, every county in Liberia receives US$200,000 as development fund, but when it comes to collecting taxes from each county, over US$10 million is collected from Montserrado.
Since such a huge amount comes from Montserrado every year according to the Superintendent, the county and any other county from which taxes are collected should have returns for the taxes they pay to government.
In response to the concern raised by Supt. Brandy, an LRA official, Delaruelle Brumskine-Birch, explained the roles of the LRA and other government functionaries connected to tax collection.
Mrs. Brumskine-Birch said the LRA is only mandated to abide by the tax code in collecting taxes and reporting taxes collected to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP).
“It would be a good thing if we can all have tax returns because I pay my tax and so does the head commissioner of LRA. The current head Commissioner, Mrs. Alfreda Tamba equally pays her taxes and she compels all of us to pay our taxes. Concerns about returns should be addressed by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and not LRA,” she clarified.
She further clarified that laws to give tax returns to taxpayers are made by the National Legislature and therefore citizens should hold their lawmakers responsible to pass laws that will allow citizens to receive returns on their taxes.