August 24, 2016 By Alusine Sesay
Corporate Affairs Manager of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) has vowed that the authority would soon go after non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) operating Sierra Leone who are evading taxes.
Speaking on Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation Radio, Mohamed Bangura averred that most CSOs and NGOs that hold government to account were in breach of fulfilling their tax obligations, which he described as criminal.
“It is criminal to evade tax and we shall make sure that we trace all of them and remind them of their tax obligations. They should not only be holding government to account but should ensure that they pay their taxes,” he said.
He said the 2016 Finance Act obligates all CSOs and NGOs to produce yearly accounts of their finances, but added that most were not in compliance with that provision of the Act.
He accused CSOs and NGOs of having employees who they pay monthly salaries but do not pay PAYE [pay as you earn] taxes for to the NRA, adding that the former organise workshops and other functions in which they hire caterers but do not pay taxes for the services.
Bangura continues that one of the challenges they were faced with in tracing defaulting CSOs and NGOs was that most of them do not have permanent office address.
“We would start arresting them while they are on air and take them to their various offices for them to fulfill their tax obligations,” he warned.
He said both local international NGOs would be targeted, in a bid to ensuring that all of them contribute to revenue generated by the government.