19 May 2017

Liberia Revenue Authority Shuts Businesses Suspected of Evading Tax

Monrovia — The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) on Thursday embarked on its tax compliance exercise on some businesses in Monrovia, to enforce compliance of government revenue generation.

These businesses according to the LRA were booked for withholding taxes which is causing loss of government revenue.

The Withholding Tax Division in collaboration with the Legal Department of the LRA kicked off the enforcement exercise forcing several big businesses to comply, while shutting down others.

Thursday exercise brought to book, among others, Kailondo Petroleum in Congo Town, East International Group in the ELWA area and the West Construction and Architecture Incorporated which the LRA said have over time been delinquent in their tax payments.

The LRA obtained closure orders from the Tax Court at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia to shut the doors of these delinquent businesses for failure to pay legitimate taxes.

These businesses upon the arrival of the LRA Taskforce however, appealed to the LRA taskforce for an extension to be made in the deadline sets for the payment of their taxes owed the Liberian government.

George Kailondo, Chief Executive Officer of Kailondo Petroleum for instance, raised to the task force that the communication written to him was unclear and that his payment would be made before the end of Thursday, May 18, 2017.

He noted that his check was already raised.

Other businesses including West Construction reportedly filed an appeal to the LRA Appeal Board for extension of their payments, a discussion that was later confirmed to reporters by the taskforce.

In spite of these appeals, the LRA task force reluctantly shut the main entrances of the East International Group on Thursday.

Sources close to the LRA suggested to FrontPageAfrica that there were some negotiation to reopen the company. The Sheriff refused to reopen the compound on grounds that such an order would have to come from his boss.

The head of Thursday's task force whose name was not disclosed told reporters on the scene that he could not comment on matter on grounds that the exercise was still ongoing.

According to the task force head, he would speak to the media once the operation is finally completed on Friday.

Despite the LRA task force refusal to comment, our source registered that the LRA served each of the entities their assessment notice, a notice of determination which became final after 30 days and a 72-hour warning notice in keeping with sections 1042(d) and 70 of the Liberia Revenue Code and LRA regulations, before proceeding to the tax court for the closure orders.


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