12 October 2017

Sierra Leone: MPs Okay Revenue Administration Act 2017

Members of Parliament yesterday unanimously passed into law the Revenue Administration Act 2017, having gone through the committee stage with some amendments made.

The act makes provisions for a common set of rules with regards the administration of revenue laws and the avoidance pf repetition, as well as promoting consistency, by reconciling and reunifying the different revenue laws in the administration and collection of taxes and duties by the NRA.

In his presentation, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Momoh Vandi, stated that the act intends to provide efficient and effective administration of revenue laws.

According to him, the new act provides a timeframe of 15 days during which a taxpayer is expected to submit an application for Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) before the commencement of the activity or action that gives rise to potential liability.

"The Revenue Administration Act 2017 deals with dispute resolution when there is dissatisfaction by a tax decision to object to the decision before a tribunal or court. It also gives time for the payment of tax, as well as extension for paying tax," he said.

In his contribution, Hon. Alhassan Kamara of the All People's Congress (APC) said the act will help strengthen the country's revenue collection and regulate some regulations to existing revenue laws.

"Some of our laws are obsolete as they are dated as far back as in 1982 while others have problems. The new act will address all the revenue administration problems," he said, while urging the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to fine tune it to meet proper standards".

According to him, many a time people failed to reveal exactly what is the actual number of goods because they wanted to pay less duty tax but said the new act will ensure defaulters pay heavy fines.

Acting Minority Leader, Hon. Mohamed Sidie Tunis, stated that the act is about consolidation of many laws, hence the need for proper attention in generating revenue for the country.

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