By Isatou Jallow
Ousman Bah, Head, Corporate & Public Affairs · Gambia Revenue Authority has emphasized that the hotel industry is amongst the top industries in which a significant amount of revenue is collected by his institution, particularly the value-added tax.
He made the remarks on behalf of the Commissioner General at the opening of a two days seminar to sensitize students of Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute on GRA mandates, revenue laws, and its various tax systems in the Gambia, including key reform initiatives being implemented by the authority.
He acknowledged a significant drop in tourist arrival in the country, but notwithstanding his office decided to sensitize the student’s fundamentals of taxation, taxpayers’ obligations, and rights which are keys to revenue mobilization and compliance management.
Mr. Bah told the students that management sensitization is part of GRA 2020-2024 strategic goal 2 plans, to enhance client service delivery for improved customer relations and corporate image.
He pointed out this meant to engage, educate and sensitize all stakeholders to enhance their understanding of the significance of tax revenue and its contribution to the national development programmes.
Bah disclosed that the GRA launched the taxpayers’ charter in April 2022, saying that the taxpayers’ charter defines taxpayers’ rights and obligations under the income and VAT Tax Act (2012), Customs and Excise Act (2010), and other revenue laws administered by the authority.
“It also specifies the authority’s legal obligations under these laws and brings in transparency in the tax service which promotes tax compliance.
During the deliberations in this Seminar, the facilitators will enlighten you more on the Charter to deepen your understanding,” GRA Head, Corporate & Public Affairs told GHI students and management.
He also informed GHTI students and management of his office launching of the ASYCUDA World to ease international trade and E-services adding that the ASYCUDA World is a web enabling system that can be accessed remotely by stakeholders and is the international trade supply chain to process their clearance of goods.
He disclosed that GRA is also in the process of implementing the integrated Tax Management system to digitalize the payment of domestic tax revenue.
For his part, Deputy Director General of the Gambia Hotel School, Mr. Mommodou Singhateh commended the GRA for students’ exposing the students and management to such a national exercise that intends to provide the required information that is needed by every citizen.
He also thanked the GRA and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs for coming up with this laudable initiative that intends and has amongst its objectives the need to sensitize the institution on tax payment.