June 23, 2017 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara
In a bid to improving on voluntary tax compliance, collection, and proper records management in the country, the National Revenue Authority (NRA), has concluded a day’s workshop on the topic “Records keeping for tax purposes for professional service providers”.
The workshop which was organized at the Miatta conference centre attracted professionals in the tax business and dozens of tax payers to discuss among others things, the benefits that would be derived from proper records management, the need to file accurate returns and payment on time, and tax management issue.
Delivering the keynote address on behalf of the Commissioner General, Commissioner Ibrahim Sorie Kamara, said the authority thought it fit to have that kind of engagement with professional service providers for obvious reasons.
He said the confab was organised to point out key issues that should be considered when adding returns, document transaction and issuing of receipts.
“As professionals, we need to know the basis in the event you have no alternative you can do the entry for yourself. And many of us do not have the resources to engage people with requisite qualification to put the numbers and records together. We may want to do it ourselves,” he said.
Commissioner Kamara noted that it was their responsibility as an authority to provide guidelines to professionals and tax payers.
He said references to key provision in the Income Tax Act of 2000 and other legislation which may provide some comfort zone for the professionals and tax payers to understand what the laws require so that information sent to the NRA might have little or no ambiguity.
“We also want to create the forum that if you notice any weaknesses in the laws, you can make your suggestions on how to improve it as we are now putting together the Finance Act of 2018. So, whatever input you make here would be very important. We would consider them and advise the Ministry of Finance to see how they could make life simple for you,” he said.
Earlier, Deputy Auditor General, Tamba Momoh, said they were interested in the workshop because they were involved in auditing NRA and all other financial institution.
“Our audit sought to test whether NRA and other authorities have collected the taxes and reordered them,” he said.
He said over the years they have noticed lot of problems in the way tax payers were accounting and reporting their activities and that the record which some of the professionals obtained, were not tide up with the returns.
“The state of record keeping appears to suggest that people are deliberately trying to understate their income,” he said.