Liberia: LRA Boss Urges Real Property Owners to Be Tax Compliant

Liberia Revenue Authority Commissioner General, Thomas Doe Nah, addressing the press Thursday at MICAT.

Liberia Revenue Authority Commissioner General, Thomas Doe Nah, on Thursday, December 5 called on real property owners in the country to pay their property taxes or be made to pay in line with the law.

Commissioner General Nah said it was unfair for people to acquire real properties and deliberately fail to pay taxes on them, while others are complying with the law.

"People should pay their real property taxes, and if they fail to pay their taxes as required by law, we will sell those properties and take out the taxes... ," CG Nah stated when he addressed the Ministry of Information weekly press conference in Monrovia on Capitol Hill.

Real Property taxes are paid annually (mostly between January 1 and June 30) and are calculated based on the value of the property. The tax rate for residential property is one-fourth percent of the value, while the commercial property rate is 1.5% of the value.

Section 2008 of the Liberia Revenue Code of 2000 as Amended 2011 authorizes the LRA, through a legal process, to sell real properties to recover tax arrears on them.

The CG said there is no exception to the payments of real property tax and called specifically on government officials to take the lead in being compliant. "No government official is off the hook, everyone will be affected by the law," the Chief Tax Collector noted.

He said it was wrong for people to be working in government and benefiting from taxes paid by a few groups of businesses and people, while others are not complying. "People cannot be in government or be government officials and can't pay taxes that they enjoy," he said.

The CG explained that the LRA will not just move into communities to sell properties, as putting liens on properties will be the last resort. "Our relationship officers will come and interact with you, to help you to be compliant. And after all efforts fail, then, we will exercise the next course of action. We will sell the property."

The LRA, he disclosed, has collected US$153.5 million (or 29%) of the projected revenue of US$525.9 million for fiscal year 2019/2020, and indicated that frantic efforts are being made to collect the remainder.

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