The acting Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Dr. Samora P.Z. Wolokolie says, Tax exemption is cardinal for the collection of domestic revenue.
He made the disclosure during the ECOWAS Head of Customs Union and Taxations delegate's courtesy visit at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning on Monday, November 22, 2021.
The objective of the visit is to improve the management of domestic taxation and ensure better coordination of VAT in the ECOWAS and WAEMU areas, strengthening the ECOWAS efforts to combat fraud, tax evasion, illicit financial flows, and corruption at the regional level (an activity under the responsibility of the OECD)
It is intended as well to reinforce the coordination and institutional capacity of WAEMU, ECOWAS, and Member States to facilitate the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the new fiscal transition program and Strengthening Civil society advocacy, and involve the private sector and universities to promote public debate on domestic taxation and VAT.
According to him, Liberia has made a significant effort in collecting the highest domestic revenue under the administration of President George Manner Weah since the foundation of the country.
"We have made significant efforts in this regard and we are pleased to report that because of the kind of efforts made; the level of fiscal measure regarding revenue we have collected in the last budget year is the highest revenue domestically and arguably since the foundation of the republic to the extent we have raised our budget to the amount that pushes higher than any other budget that has been submitted to the national Legislature in the history of Liberia" he asserted.
So, in terms of willingness and commitments to the VART process, we are pleased to communicate that we are indeed willing to transition to the rest of ECOWAS countries, he said.
He noted that Liberia has clearly demonstrated efforts and has set a framework including the amendment in the Public Financial Management Law that has been implemented, adding that the Government is committed to doing the same with VART.
For his part, the head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Customs Union and Taxations Mr. Tiemtore Salifou, called on the Government of Liberia to migrate to the Value Added Tax (VAT) program that will focus on domestic revenue mobilization to tackle current realities.
According to him, VAT is tax-based and is controlled by reconciling all of the data that are necessary to calculate the tax on profits. He noted that the integration of the tax data concerning any company is in a single file. " It suggests that any companies who are subject to the VAT must be able to keep an account" he added.
He said there is a need to set up a high threshold of liability for VAT stating similar progress which was done in Guinea Bissau should be repeated here.
He stated that working with key partners such as the World Bank, IMF, and AfDB by sharing their views, ambitions, and objectives will allow them to explain the intervention frameworks for better coordination of their activities.