The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) says it has uncovered the production of a fraudulent Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) in the possession of a charity NGO called BESTWA Inc.
A press release details that an investigation by the LRA Professional Ethics Division shows that BESTWA Inc. operates in Grand Bassa County, where it provides medical aid to the needy.
The says the forged tax clearance was discovered among the NGO’s application to the LRA Commissioner General Elfrieda Stewart Tamba, seeking duty free privilege to import medical supplies.
The original tax clearance certificate of the NGO which was issued October 4, 2016 by the LRA and valid for the period of 90 days was fraudulently altered by the broker of BESTWA Inc., McPherson T. Siaway, the release notes.
The LRA further claims McPherson dubiously altered the original certificate and created a new tax clearance certificate dated 4th October 2017 with a 120-day validity period.
The LRA, through the Ministry of Justice, will institute legal action against BESTWA Inc. and its broker, for criminally producing and presenting a fake tax clearance certificate for the purpose of obtaining duty free privilege.
According to the release, the NGO’s alleged action is in violation of the Liberia Revenue Code and also Section 3.4(B) of the Tax Clearance Certificate Administration Regulations, which requires business entities to pay a fine of US$1000.
Meanwhile, the LRA calls on the public to help stand up against this threat to economic development of Liberia by desisting from such acts, and reporting all acts that undermine the collection of legitimate and lawful revenues.
It also warns that those criminals involved in duping the system at the detriment of honest taxpayers and the State will not escape with impunity once caught. Press Release