NOVEMBER 17, 2014 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
In order to maintain effectiveness and keep taxpayers inform about development within the institution, the National Revenue Authority (NRA) on Thursday, 13th November 2014, engaged tax payers across the country on Goods and Services Tax, Relief and Purchase Order (GRPOs).
Speaking on behalf of Commissioner of Domestic Tax Department at the one-day workshop that was held at Njala Venue, Aberdeen, west of Freetown, Assistant Commissioner, Small and Medium Tax Department, Sheku Samuka Kamara, said the NRA does not only collect revenue but also engage stakeholders and inform them about what the NRA is doing and what they intend to do.
He noted that the NRA cannot impose punishment on a taxpayer without first educating them on what to do.
He said the essence of the one-day workshop was to maintain mutual trust between the revenue authority and taxpayers, and encouraged participants to asked questions and raise issues during the workshop, adding that their concerns would be taken note of.
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Corporate Affairs Manager, Mohamed Bangura, thanked participants for attending the workshop at such a crucial time, when the country faces a deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus disease.
He said they invited taxpayers because they are important to both revenue collection and the development of the institution, especially as numerous developments have taken place which taxpayers should know.
In a presentation, Deputy Commissioner of Domestic Tax Department, Alfred Akibo-Betts, said the Third Schedule of the Goods and Services Tax Act of 2009 has been amended, according institutions and businesses great benefits, including ‘institutional relief’ from payment of both local GST and import GST on goods and services.
He said that in line with guidelines that were issued to all GRPO holders and suppliers, and in accordance with section 46(2) of the Goods and Services Tax Act of 2009 as amended, the GRPO should be only used to procure taxable goods and services from GST registered businesses or taxpayers.
He revealed that all suppliers should charge GST if a GRPO is not issued by the GRPO holder, and that if the GRPO is not issued for supplies and the supplier does not request one from the GRPO holder, the supplier will take responsibility for the unpaid GST.
He added that the GRPO should not be used for all non-production related items, non-agricultural related items and all non-construction related items, as provided for in section 45(1) of the Finance Act of 2013, while also it should not also be used for items such as hotel accommodation, mobile phones, entertainment, motor vehicles and spare parts, as highlighted under section 28 of the GST Act of 2009, as amended.