Monrovia — The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has launched the implementation of the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS), in order to bring relief to its customers.
Serving as launcher Friday in Paynesville, LRA Commissioner General Thomas Doe Nah said the project is in line with the domestic resources mobilization strategy that is critical to the increase of the national revenue envelope and the government at large.
"The project is going to lead to more efficiency as we strive to ultimate process both administration and operations to engage our customers regularly", LRA head noted.
Commissioner Nah asserted that it is a milestone for the country because whatever progress takes place at LRA, increases revenue and when revenue increases, the country will experience a huge impact on socio-economic development and transformation.
"Our vision is that this project should be seamless and in making people happy to pay their taxes and it will digitize many of our operation at the LRA," Nah pointed out.
The LRA official express the institution gratitude to the World Bank, African Development Bank, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) and implementing partners, among others, for being supportive in making the project successful.
For his part, the Commissioner on Domestic Taxes, Darlington Y. Talery, said the project is crucial to government as it strives to gather sustainable domestic resources for inclusive growth of financing and poverty reduction as mandated in the domestic resource mobilization (DRM) policy.
Talery added that the ITAS project is being implemented with funding from the International Development Association (IDA), European Union and the Swedish government, through the overall Public Financial Management Reform and Institutional Strengthening Project (PFMRISP).
He said the ITAS project implementation, which spans five years, is budgeted at a cost of US$5,332,229.
Talery narrated that the project seeks to achieve two main objectives, which are to improve taxpayers' compliance and increase domestic revenue, stressing that the project when completed will avail a self-service platform to taxpayers with value-added functionalities such as online filing, online payment and minimum data entry due to multiple integration with other systems.
Also speaking the Project Manager at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Vee-Musa Fofana, who proxy for the Minister of Finance, said they are assured and confident that this automation of tax and customs system will reduce the corruption and leakage of revenues which can occur through manual interactions between taxpayers and tax officials, thereby increasing revenue generation.
"ITAS has been a long process that went through series of reforms from one stage to another, and finally we are launching a modernized, automated project which is indeed a major component of our domestic resource mobilization strategy," Talery explained.
According to him, ITAS can significantly increase organizational efficiency as labour intensive processes are simplified and modern information technology is exploited, as this initiative is no exception that this process has been cash intensive to the end.
Talery applauded all of the implementing partners of LRA and the LRA entire senior management team for the level of work done, adding: "We cannot overemphasize that the performance and achievement of the new LRA initiative is greatly dependent on you," Talery stated.