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Govt. sets Le 1.156 trillion target for NRA
News Date: 22nd March 2011

The Government of Sierra Leone has set a Le 1.156 trillion target as revenue to be collected by the National Revenue Authority (NRA) for 2011.

The NRA was created by an Act of Parliament in 2002 to generate revenue for the smooth running of government.

John Baimba Sesay of the Public Affairs Unit of NRA stated that the year 2010 was a challenging one for the Authority, adding that there were many initiatives in support of President Koroma’ s Agenda for Change.

He added that the annual target of 2010 was revised three times. Initially, he noted, it was set at Le 786.8 billion by government and was moved to Le 864.3 billion in March 2010; Le 889.0 billion in June and to Le 930.5 billion during the International Monetary Fund mission in Sierra Leone in September 2010.

John Baimba Sesay maintained that the latter target was exceeded by Le 27 billion which represents 2.9% as against a target of Le 930.49 billion. The amount collected represents Le277.13 billion over 2009 collection of 700.3 billion.

He reiterated that in terms of GDP, revenue collected also increased from 10.7% in 2009 to 13.2 of GDP in 2010.

The Public Affairs Officer said there were several factors responsible for the impressive revenue performance by the NRA. “The Authority has continued to put in place robust mechanisms in its revenue collection efforts”, he stated.

These, he said, involve embarking on compliance and enforcement strategies, public education and sensitization programmes on the need for taxpayers to meet their tax obligations. The Authority also intensified its field audit and improved on staff management partnership and collaboration.

According to Mr. Sesay, distress actions like the sealing of offices of parastatals and business premises and the imposition of penalties on taxpayers for non-filing and late payments, produced positive results and sent the right message for tax defaulters.

He disclosed that the automation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Unit also contributed to the outstanding performance of the Authority.

The Public Affairs Officer also said that since the inception of the Authority, attempts have been made to reform and modernize tax administration in order to maximize revenue collection and facilitate trade.

John Baimba Sesay further stated that the introduction of GST, the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) and the Domestic Taxes Department (DTD) have improved revenue collection greatly.

Source: www.awokonews

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