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UK tax experts assess LRA’s capacity

A delegation of two tax experts from the United Kingdom has concluded a weeklong capacity assessment of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) for support and collaboration in enhancing tax administration in Liberia.

According to a press release, LRA Commissioner General Elfrieda Stewart Tamba, received the two experts and expressed the need for a stronger working partnership with Her Majesty Revenue and Customs Agency.

Commissioner Tamba welcomed the UK delegation, including Mike O’Doherty and Juilan Ainley and looked forward to increasing collaboration between the two agencies. She expressed specific need for capacities to strengthen tax inspection or audits of both traditional and non-organized structures such as manufacturing, trading, and telecommunication and the natural resource sectors.

The delegation’s visit was in fulfillment of calls for technical assistance and external partnerships initiated by the LRA Commissioner General as part of sustained efforts to grow the national revenue base through increased use of best practices, institutional capacity development and improved operational effectiveness.

While in the country, the delegation focused on accessing the LRA capacity with the aim of identifying possible areas for collaboration and support. It also focused on strengthening the LRA’s capacity in micro revenue forecasting, and as well as developing a transformation and modernization framework for the Authority.

Meanwhile, at the close of the weeklong visit, the delegation recommended for the establishment of three strategic units, including Modernization, Tax Policy and an Independent Debt Collection Unit. The modernization unit, the team indicated, should keep separate and clear functions of planning, design, and delivery, while the Tax Policy Unit will interpret tax code and providing guidance to taxpayers. The Independent Debt Collection Unit will focus on collecting unpaid taxes due the state.

The partnership was developed through representation made on behalf of the LRA Boss to the UK in August 2015 by the Authority’s Manager for Policy and External Affairs, Mr. Wellington Jah. Meanwhile, both Mike O’Doherty and Juilan Ainley have expressed overwhelming interest to work with the LRA to expand its scope of engagement, including need for assistance.

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-Edited by Jonathan Browne

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