Realising that tax evasion and fraud are detrimental to the economic, fiscal and social interests of The Gambia, the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA)under the dynamic leadership of its Commissioner General, and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of The Gambia recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to fight tax evasion and its menace in the country.
The MOU was purposely signed to strengthen the capacity of the two parties through the sharing of relevant information, experiences and initiatives and the development of a structured framework for co-operation with a view to maximising domestic revenue mobilisation and ensuring precise payment of taxes.
The GRA and FIU said an MoU was needed to promote the goals, objectives and the respective mandates of the parties as well as to protect the economic interest of The Gambia by sharing information relating to taxpayers and persons benefiting from the proceeds of crimes.
The FIUis a statutory body established under section 3 of the Anti-money Laundering and Combating of Terrorist Financing Act, 2021 with a mandate among others to assist in the identification of proceeds of criminal conduct and the combat of money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing, to receive, analyse and disseminatesuspicious financial information to investigating authority, the intelligence agencies and the revenue agencies, and for connected matters therein.
The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) is a statutory body established by the Gambia Revenue Authority Act, 2004 in order tointer alia, act as agent of the Government of The Gambia to assess, levy, charge and collect taxes and duties and other revenue on behalf of the state.
The two noble institutions signed the MOU to co-operate as follows:
The parties agreed to provide assistance to each other through exchange of information that is foreseeably relevant to the execution of the parties’ mandates.
In the case of GRA, such information shall include information that is foreseeably relevant to the determination, assessment and collection of taxes, the recovery and enforcement of tax claims, or the investigation or prosecution oftax matters, information on cross border currency, and bearer of negotiable instruments, declaration reports obtained for both inbound and outbound.
In the case of FIU, such information shall include data that is foreseeably relevant to the analysis of tax and related crimes for the purpose of investigation and prosecution, conduct of typologies on emerging trends and methods of tax evasion and related financial crimes, information relevant to Gambia follow-up reports to be filed to the Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) and any other information relevant to combat the menaces of money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing and related criminal conducts or activities.
Both directors general of FIU and GRA expressed appreciation for complementingthe efforts of each other to boost revenue collection and performance for national development.
Both compatriots further reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring zero tolerance for tax fraud and other forms of tax evasion.
Also both parties agreed to implement the MOU to the letter and would continue to foster their efforts in information-sharing on revenue generation.