The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs (MOFEA) Hon. Seedy Keita has told Gambia parliamentarians that in the context of improved domestic resources mobilisation, MOFEA has established a new Directorate of Tax and Revenue which will focus on enhanced compliance and monitoring of revenue performance.
The Finance minister said this would cover critical areas such as domestic and international trade taxes, as well as tax expenditures.
Speaking during the first ordinary session of the 2022 Legislative Year, 2022 on Thursday 28 July 2022 at the National Assembly, Finance minister also told parliamentarians that on pay-as you earn, the ministry has issued a letter to all SoEs to submit records of their PAYE deductions, filing and payment to the Gambia Revenue Authority.
This, he said, in effect, is expected to ramp up compliance through enhanced monitoring.
He added that a similar letter would be issued in collaboration with GRA to all registered taxpayers for PAYE.
According to Hon. Keita, similar measures are being undertaken by the new Directorate for all VAT registered entities in the country to remit VAT collected on behalf of the government to the GRA on time.
He explained that the current VAT compliance rate of 66% is expected to be increased to at least 80% and this is expected to bring additional revenue.
Also on the TAX exemption and Special Investment Certificate (SIC), the Ministry of Finance has taken an aggressive approach to tackling excess loses associated with tax exemption under SIC scheme. He said this action started with the launching of an audit on all expiring SICs beneficiaries to establish the potential tax receipts from the graduating compliance.
This exercise would be conducted periodically going forward.
Regarding the telecommunication sector, the MOFEA, "in consultation with the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, would introduce revenue measures that will help enhance non tax revenue collection."
On the issues of land, the Hon. Minister said land lease rental income is largely under performing mostly due to low compliance and lack of enforcement. To that end, the MOFEA has requested from the Ministry of Local Government a list of all leased properties and the amount of receipts associated to the leases. He said a comprehensive action plan will be drawn in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government to support the collection and the administration of land lease rentals.
He also stated that the implementation of the digital tax administration system through the ASYCUDA world launched on 20 June 2022, and integrated Tax Administration System ITAS has already started.
"This is expected to improve compliance, cost of collection as well improve data quality for economic policy planning and formulation."
According to the Finance minister, rental income on both residential and commercial properties remain largely untaxed. As a result, he said, GRA in collaboration with the GBoS has recently conducted a survey of all rented properties in the GBA to establish a rental registry that can inform an enforcement plan and collection strategy.