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Politics News

LRA unveils new tax policy

The Liberia Revenue Authority or LRA has introduced a new measure that would take effect as of April 2017 for the collection of taxes across the country.

LRA Commissioner General Madam Elfrieda Stewart Tamba says changes will be effected in PSI Processing and fees at land borders, airports, and seaports to help improve the revenue system of Liberia.

She made the disclosure recently at the Ministry of Information on Capitol Hill during a regular press briefing, saying the new measure is to mitigate tax fraud.
According to the LRA boss, pre-shipment inspection for goods imported by air will no longer be a requirement, rather goods will however be subjected to destination inspection.

The Commissioner General added that payment of taxes will now be executed through direct transfer from one account to another via the Central Bank of Liberia’s Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) other than payment of taxes through manager’s check and cash, which is a joint initiative of the CBL, LRA and all commercial banks except GN Bank Liberia Limited.

Madam Tamba said this form of payment is a change from manual process to electronic payment mechanisms.  She noted that the new measure will benefit taxpayers, including reduction of queuing time at the LRA and the CBL, saying, it is convenient payment method for taxpayers, who may issue instructions in advance for settlement at a specified date to their banks.

“Taxpayers with appropriate infrastructure can issue payment instructions from their offices; the transport costs will be eliminated.” The LRA boss pointed out that taxpayers will know exactly when their accounts will be debited and can therefore ensure that accounts are funded at that particular time.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Tamba has dismissed reports that the LRA was not receiving tax payment in Liberian dollars, clarifying that under Section One of the Public Financial Management Law, the monetary unit for all MAC’s accounting and financial reporting shall be in Liberian Dollars, United States Dollars may also be used for financial reporting purposes, but LD is the base currency.

She said the Public Financial Management or PFM Act is the authority that “governs all matters related to management of public finances in Liberia.”

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By Lewis S. Teh -Editing by Jonathan Browne

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