The Point (Banjul)

19 February 2014

Gambia: Stakeholders Validate VAT Draft Document Guide

The Gambia Revenue Authority and various stakeholders Friday validated Valued Added Tax draft document guide at a forum held at the Baobab Resort Holiday Hotel in Bijilo.

Speaking at the validation ceremony, Yankuba Darboe, acting-Commissioner General of GRA, said the validation workshop provided them the opportunity to review an important document on VAT that would deepen understanding on the operation of VAT.

He said to facilitate the implementation of the VAT, GRA would continue instituting measures such as preparation of guidelines to provide effective support and facilitation to taxpayers in improving compliance.

According to him, VAT was introduced in The Gambia effective 1 January 2013, following the enactment of the income and Value-Added Tax Act 2012.

"Value Added Tax is an indirect tax that is charged on most goods and services that VAT registered businesses provide in The Gambia," he said, adding that it is also charged on goods and services imported from outside the country.

"As the implementing authority, we wish to confirm our readiness to continue working with stakeholders in ensuring smooth transition for taxpayers and the general public," Mr Darboe revealed.

This guide provides basic knowledge and guidance to the general public and in particular to the businesses that must register and collect value added tax, he said.

The guide also describes the procedures governing VAT registration, filing, payments and refunds, he said, adding that it also provides basic understanding of taxpayer's right and obligations as regards VAT.

The quality of the document being reviewed suggested that the consultant had done a great job, he said whilst registering his appreciation of the GRA Board management and staff for the support they continue to enjoy in the implementation of the VAT from the Ministry of Finance, the UNDP, IMP and other stakeholders.

There are two rates of VAT depending on the goods or services the business provides, he said, adding that standard rate is charged at 15 per cent and zero rate at 0 per cent.

He said there are some goods and services that are not covered by VAT and therefore VAT are not charged on such goods and services. These include goods that are exempted from VAT outside the Gambia VAT system. Mr Darboe further noted that VAT is charged when a VAT-registered business sells to customers and these customers include registered and nonregistered businesses or the general public.

He said when a VAT-registered business buys goods and services and pays VAT they are generally able to reclaim the VAT they have paid, "this is because VAT is not an additional cost" as the VAT paid could be reclaimed from the GRA. Author: Abdoulie Nyockeh

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