18 September 2017

Liberia: LRA Signs Agreement

Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has signed a partnership agreement with LoneStar Cell MTN, Orange Liberia and United Bank of Africa (UBA) for the introduction of payment of tax using mobile money, for the first time ever in Liberia.

The official payment of tax using mobile money is expected to begin in November this year.

The Proof of Concept Agreement (PCA) for Mobile Payments was singed last week in Monrovia and will pave the way for taxpayers to make their tax payment by means of mobile money services, a release from LRA said.

Under the pilot arrangement according to the release, LoneStar Cell MTN and Orange GSM companies will design accessible payment platforms to facilitate tax payment using mobile money service.

The agreement will cover all tax and non-tax collections including Cooperate Income Tax, Personal Income Tax, Excise Tax, Goods and Service Tax as well as fees for various licenses and certificates and will eventually cover import duty.

According to the release, the first phase of the project will cover small tax payments which will generally benefit small tax payers thereby facilitating their compliance. The second phase will cover larger payments.

Commissioner General Elfrieda Stewart Tamba described the partnership as a "major milestone" under LRA's Transformation and Modernization Agenda.

"Today, we are happy to sign a Proof of Payment Pilot Agreement with Orange and LoneStar to introduce tax payment, i.e. the first P to G (Private to Government) payments in Liberia," the Commissioner General said.

She reaffirmed the commitment of the LRA in transforming tax administration in Liberia through the application of aggressive and sustainable technologies good and efficient service delivery and the facilitation of lawful trade aimed facilitating voluntary tax compliance and strengthening domestic revenue mobilization.

Madam Tamba, among others, lauded the telecom partners and the UBA for the partnership and also commended the taxpayers of the United States for their support to the LRA through the USAID RG3 Project.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, LoneStar Cell MTN Deputy Chief Executive Officer Louis Roberts, Orange Chief Executive Officer Mamadou Coulibaly and UBA's Managing Director Olalekan Balogun pledged their commitments to fully implement the agreement.

They expressed their willingness in supporting LRA to achieve its tax payment transformation programs.

Representative of USAID-Liberia Democracy and Governance Office, Mr. Jeremy Meadows, praised agency's commitment to LRA and the Revenue Generation for Governance and Growth (RG3) Project, which supports LRA in its various tax and revenue implementation mechanisms.

The Director noted that the collaboration provided a vital step towards achieving the much-needed government-private partnership. "The RG3 Project while intended to mobilize domestic resources, is also intended to reinforce the social contract trying to increase the ways in which Liberians are connected to their government. They way that Liberians own their government, invest in their government, and contribute to their government. This is going to be one of the most significant ways to broaden that capacity and enhance that language."

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