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IDAD established technical working group for tax collection

By Lewis S Teh

The Institute for Democratic Action and Development (IDAD) has held a one-day tax justice working group inception meeting for over ten civil society organizations and community-based organizations within Montserrado with the goal of formulating a technical working group for tax collection.

Speaking in an interview with a team of journalists on Wednesday, April 19, at its head office in the oldest Congo Town during the start of the one-day tax working group inception meeting, IDAD Program Director Sylvester J.M. Saye said the one-day tax justice working group inception meeting was gear towards building the capability and strengthening the knowledge of various CSOs and CBOs in the establishment of a technical working group on issues relating to the collection of tax across the country.

“Today, we brought 11 civil society organizations including people with disabilities, trade unions, Liberia Business Association, Liberia Marketing Association, and the Workers Union among others so as to formulate a tax justice working group across the country,” says Mr. Saye.

He explained that the tax justice working group will develop a strategic action plan which will be submitted to their partners to source out funding to help engage the national legislature and other relevant stakeholders.

“We want to build the capacity of CSOs and CBOs to engage national government who are to pay their taxes but aren’t paying,” Saye continued.

He noted that the significance of the tax justice working group inception meeting was to establish a tax justice working group.

IDAD expectations from select CSOs and CBOs that participated in the one-day working meeting is to enable them to have the knowledge and idea of establishing a tax justice working group that will foster the issues about tax administration in Liberia.

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He said IDAD is a nonprofit civil society organization that was established to promote the decentralization aspect of government.

“Our aim and objective as civil society organization are to help provide education and create awareness around the issues of lawful tax collection in the tax justice system,” Saye explained, adding that his organization is currently working in ten of Liberia’s fifteen counties through UNDP funded projects- something he says will allow citizens to engage local government processes so that development purposes can be adequately implemented.

“At the end of today’s meeting, we hope to build the capacity and strengthen the technical working group that will be established. We want to increase the knowledge of those various CSOs and CBOs in creating awareness on how to engage key stakeholders including the national legislature and those institutions responsible for the collection of lawful taxes,” said Mr. Saye.

“We are anticipating that the beneficiaries will be aware that the taxes they pay should be equitably distributed for national development,” he added.

He recalled that in 2022, the Liberia Revenue Authority, or LRA made a pronouncement about a huge collection in revenue generated which contribute significantly to the national budget.

He said it was against this backdrop that his organization saw it prudent to bring various civil societies together to strengthen and build their capacity, especially in the case where he says Liberia is a low-income country in terms of basic social services.

“We as civil society serving as a watchdog decided to formulate policies and form a collaboration to see how best we can advocate for policy reforms in our different tax system here in Liberia,” he adds.

Giving the overview of the meeting, the Executive Director of IDAD Joseph Cheayan lauded the participants for showing up and taking knee interest in the project. He said the meeting was funded by Action Aid Liberia.

According to him, the overall objective of the meeting was to consolidate ideas in the way where they will establish tax justice network.

He noted that as civil society organizations, private sector, trade unions, and business associations we all have a key role to play in the taxes that we pay we should be able to put more pressure on government to deliver those basic social services.

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