A three-day Taxpayers Service Training for revenue authorities in West Africa opened in Monrovia Tuesday, August 28, organized by the West African Tax Administration (WATAF) in collaboration with the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA).
Comprising 35 participants from tax administrations across the sub-region, including Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Gambia among others, the training seeks to augment the skills of taxpayer service attendants in ensuring effective customers relations.
The training, held under the theme, “Enhancing Voluntary Tax Compliance through Effective Taxpayer Service,” involves discussing ways to formulate strategies for the development and implementation of effective taxpayer services.
WATAF Executive Secretary Babatunde Oladape, who spoke at the opening ceremony, stressed the need for the enhancement of service delivery at tax administrations across the region.
Mr. Oladape said the promotion of taxpayer education is key to achieving voluntary compliance.
He said that tax administrations need to enhance their strategies through making procedures and processes easy for taxpayers to fulfill their tax obligations with lessened cost of compliance.
“For you to get taxpayers to fulfill their civic obligations, you need to provide service, because morally it is compulsory that you treat them right,” he said.
Oladape urged participants to acquire the relevant skills being taught at the training with the aim to help transform the component of service delivery, which enhances the operation of tax administrations.
“We are here because of the passion we have to develop our respective countries. The training is all about helping us to improve service delivery. So please open up your mind, learn and share experiences as it promotes peer education which we highly encourage at WATAF,” Mr. Oladape reminded participants.
LRA Acting Commissioner General, Decontee T. King-Sackie, noted that the training will help strengthen the role of tax administrations in the West African region in promoting domestic resource mobilization efforts.
She said the provision of adequate taxpayer services, which includes providing up-to-date information and education, is crucial to facilitating voluntary compliance and, at the same time, provides taxpayers the timely assistance needed to enable them meet their tax obligations to the government.
“This effort will be a continuous one, because we believe we need to enhance our combined revenue performance through the improvement and increase voluntary compliance,” Madam Sackie said.
She said through a more modern and aggressive taxpayer service, voluntary compliance can be definitely achieved.
She said that the basic objectives of taxpayer service are geared toward imparting knowledge as a guide to tax law and compliance, including changing taxpayers’ attitudes toward taxation and increasing tax collection via increasing voluntary compliance.
Madam Sackie spoke of the need for all of countries in the region to aim at formulating strategies and initiatives to improve taxpayer services at the various tax administrations.
She then thanked WATAF and PcW for initiating the training and choosing Liberia as its venue.