SLBF

SLBF

 
Tax and Customs PDF Print E-mail

Meeting-of-the-Tax--Customs-Working-GroupTax and Customs Working Group (TCWG) was established in 2007 by representative groups of individuals from the private sector, civil society the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and tax policy officials at the National Revenue Authority. The prime objective of the TCWG is to discuss issues on the current tax system and consider options for reforms that will facilitate the cost of doing business in Sierra Leone.

Based on an Action Plan, the TCWG meets monthly to facilitate, identify and discuss concerns about the current tax system and advocate for reforms where necessary. Specifically, the group will:

  • Support tax policies that will enhance Sierra Leone’s economic performance so that sufficient revenue to fund government expenditure is sustainable.
  • Increase the awareness of tax issues within the private sector.
  • Facilitate, identify and discuss concerns about the current tax system.
  • Discuss and set out views on arrangements made by the tax authority (National Revenue Authority) to enhance its relationship with the business community on the current tax system. This objective is intended to promote a climate of mutual trust and confidence among all stakeholders as well as maintain the integrity and sustainability of the tax system over time.
  • Liaise with other organisations to prevent the duplication and overlap of efforts on current tax policies that positively contributes to private sector growth.
  • Where necessary, members of the TCWG may be asked to work in out-of-session meetings on issues raised in the working group.

In 2010, several meetings were held and chaired by the Deputy Director, Sierra Leone Business Forum Ltd. From the first to the third quarters, most of the meetings held discussed issues on how the Goods and Services Tax (GST) awareness raising campaign should be executed. At the end of August and early September of 2010, the campaign was carried out together with representatives from the in the district head quarter towns (Bo, Kenema, Makeni and Kono) and in Freetown. The theme of the campaign was “Supporting the GST for National Development”. The methodology used in relaying information to the general public on the benefits of the GST was through radio discussion programmes, workshops, street parades and were jingles. The key recommendation during the workshops was the intensification of the GST campaign in every district using the comedians.

In the last quarter of 2010, two main issues were discussed in the TCWG meetings. The various fees/charges levied by the Freetown City Council (FCC) on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and how the National Revenue Authority (NRA) can educate the business community about the calculations and applications of customs tariffs at land border posts were discussed. In one of these meetings with the FCC, TCWG considered options for reform as the fees/charges levied were exorbitant.

 

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