9 January 2014

Gambia: Let's Pay Tax

editorial

It is now officially announced that the government has accepted the recommendations of the all-talked about Tax Commission. Those who are found culpable as demanded by the government should therefore endeavour to settle their debts to the state without any delay.

This development should not be viewed otherwise! It is in the interest of national development. After all, payment of tax is an ancient practice, entrenched in the economic systems of modern civilisations. Revenue accrued from taxes levied on citizens goes to ensure that the concerned authority meets the demands of its citizens in terms of the provision of social services to the people.

As such tax payment is a national duty; and, therefore, any attempt to evade it constitutes a serious crime, regardless of who is found wanting. Tax evasion is in fact not just a worldly crime; it is a crime even in the eyes of Allah. Leaders are accountable to Allah for the way and manner, in which they exercise the mantle of leadership over their ruled, who are in turn expected to play their part in ensuring that their leaders serve them effectively. Non-payment of tax does not only mean deprivation of government dues, but also it is tantamount to denying the entire nation of what rightfully belongs to the people; it also means, by extension, denying the people the privilege of enjoying certain social services and amenities that are tied to the payment of taxes. The Gambia government's uncompromising stance in ensuring that everybody fulfils their social obligations is a commendable move. It is therefore incumbent upon tax defaulters to pay.

Let it beremembered that our success depends chiefly on three important things: Patriotism; Sincerity; and Love for oneself. A true love for oneself is best demonstrated when extended to one's offsprings. You cannot make a better tomorrow for your offsprings, if a better foundation is not laid for them. And it follows that payment of tax is a requirement for building this foundation, on which the progress of the nation strongly relies. It is a natural phenomenon that some would always want to break the law, so it is obvious that GRA is going to face the task of dealing with defaulters. The laws of The Gambia have no doubt catered for that. Tax evasion can be rightly equated to murder, as its impact on society often has far reaching implications on the people. In a nutshell, if we truly want to excel, we must not allow individual interest to prevail over national interest. Tax evaders should face the full force of the law. In the long run, this laying might serve as a deterrent to others.

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