Liberia: LRA Completes A One-Day Tax Education In Zorzor, Lofa County

(L-R): Commissioner Talery, Assistant Commissioner Stevens and Manager Gobah-Harris

ZORZOR – Eight senior members of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) have concluded a one-day meeting on tax awareness in Zorzor City, Lofa County. Mr. Darlington Talery, Commissioner

By James P. Kwabo, Jr.

of the Domestic Tax Department, led the delegation. Mr. Isaac Beyan Stevens, Assistant Commissioner for Taxpayer Services Division, and Ms. Clara Gobah Harris, Manager for Rural Tax Business Offices, along with other technical and marketing team members, made out the visiting delegation.

In his opening remarks, Commissioner Tarlery, on behalf of his delegation, commended the taxpayers for their cooperation and support of the LRA in the generation of lawful government revenue addiding, the purpose of the meeting was to improve taxpayers’ and future taxpayers’ understanding of the LRA’s automated services, with a focus on Mobile tax payment and real property expansion, 4% taxes for small businesses, and other businesses.

He further noted, in order for a country to flourish and for its government to fulfill its responsibility of providing basic social services to residents, the payment of taxes is essential, and every law-abiding citizen and institution in Liberia must be tax compliant.

During conversations, some business owners voiced dissatisfaction over the LRA’s inability to give them appropriate Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) and tax clearances, despite their continued payment of 4% quarterly business taxes. Mr. Richelue Dukuly, one of the aggrieved business owners, stated that he has been paying taxes for his business since 2017 but has not received a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and that a contact at the Liberia Business Registry informed him that the name of his business (The Trust Business Center) belongs to someone else.

Mr. Tablo Denise, the President of the Zorzor District Business Association (LIBA), questioned why, from the beginning of George Weah’s government to current, there has been no credit offered to local businesses that may bolster their operations, whereas he alleged that, petti traders have received loans. Mr. Leo Lake, the head of LIBA in Salayea administrative district, expressed similar unhappiness and urged the LRA to ensure that the concerns of the taxpayer are effectively addressed in order to prevent revenue losses to the government.

Mr. Sekou Bilitity, a local business owner in Zorzor, voiced concern regarding the closure of the Yeala Port of Entry for the transport of products and services including vehicles from neighboring Guinea.

Commissioner Tarlery, Assistant Commissioner Stevens, and Manager Harris, assured the citizens that their concerns would be adequately addressed, and that upon the team’s return to Monrovia, they would ensure that all businesses affected by the TIN issue would receive their TINs.

In collaboration with the Tax Business Offices (TBO) in Voinjama, tax clearances would also be issued in Zorzor, they told the gathering.

In closing, Commissioner Talery informed the gathering that the decision to restrict the LRA from generating cash at the Yeala Port of Entry was made due to an increase in the smuggling of goods into the nation, which caused the LRA to lose more revenue. “The Revenue Authorities of Liberia and Guinea have decided that the Ganta Port will be the only port for the transit of commercial products and services, including vehicles,” he asserted.