Liberia: LRA Educates, Enrolls Over 1,500 Small Rubber Farmers in Tax Net￼
Monrovia – The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has educated and registered at least 1,500 smallholder rubber farmers into the country’s tax net for the first time.
Held in collaboration with the National Rubber Brokers and Farmers Union of Liberia (NARBFUL), the exercise, launched in Gbarnga, Bong County, is intended to boost domestic revenue mobilization.
The exercise kicked off in Gbarnga initially for rubber farmers in Bong, Nimba, and Margibi Counties and will spread to the rest of the country.
Under a memorandum of understanding with NARBFUL, the LRA will educate and inform owners and administrators of rubber farmers about their required tax obligations, medium of payment, and subsequent enrollment into the tax net through the issuance of a Tax Identification Number (TIN).
When he officially launched the collaboration in Gbarnga on July 14, LRA Assistant Commissioner for Taxpayer Services Division Isaac B. Stevens said the event marked a vital step in mobilizing increased domestic revenue for the Liberian people.
Assistant Commissioner Stevens described tax payment as a national obligation that shows one’s patriotism and lauded the efforts of NARBFUL for its commitment to implement the MOU’s terms by making its members available for registration and enrollment.
“It is one of the greatest honors that anyone can pay to his or her country, remembering that no nation on the face of the earth has developed and met the social needs and aspirations of its citizens without those citizens making their direct commitment to paying their fair share of taxes,” he noted.
Mr. Stevens emphasized that the mobilization of domestic revenue remains a crucial foundation and ingredient for sustaining inclusive economic growth for national transformation and the continuous development of Liberia.
The president of NARBFUL, James W. Sayekea, termed the collaboration a great effort in transforming members from informal to formal taxpayers whose tax contributions to the country will be captured and highlighted by the national government.
He told members of the group that is a formal taxpayer will also enable them to seek relevant recognition from government, partners, and stakeholders and give them a voice.
“As formal taxpayers, we will have a say in national issues and will also be able to tell the government and other stakeholders about the concerns we want to be addressed. So, it is good that the LRA has come to register and issue us our taxpayer-identification numbers which will record our tax contributions whenever we sell our wet rubber,” he stated.
With the issuance of TIN to smallholder rubber farmers and brokers, tax deductions during sales will now be credited to the sellers instead of the buyer. The absence of this, Sayekea claimed, has denied them their identities as official taxpayers over the years.