Liberia Revenue Authority Launches US$5M Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS)
MONROVIA – The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has launched a new tax system to improve the current system being used at the institution.
The new tax system is inclusive of online registration, online filing and payment among others will replace the Standard Integrated Government Tax System (SIGTAS) currently being used by the Revenue Authority.
The new system is being sponsored by the African Development Bank Group, The World Bank, SIDA and the European Union, the project seeks to improve tax compliance and increase tax revenue with the aim to gather sustainable resources to support Liberia’s growth and development.
The program was launched at the LRA office outside Monrovia and was graced by partners including the African Development Bank Group, The World Bank, SIDA and the European Union, among others.
Making remarks at the launch of the project at LRA Headquarters, Commissioner General of the LRA, Thomas Doe Nah described the initiative as a major milestone to make tax payment easier and improve taxpayers’ experience.
“He said the project will support the goals of the LRA in ensuring the transformation of revenue administration by utilizing effective information and communication technology,” he noted.
The LRA boss said the implementation of the Integrated Tax Administration System is a cogent part of the Domestic Resource Mobilization Strategy, (DRM) of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and the Government of Liberia at large.
“The ITAS Project is crucial to the Government’s strive to gather sustainable domestic resource for inclusive growth financing and poverty reduction as mandated by DRM.”
Providing an overview of the new tax system at the launch of the program, one of the Commissioners for Domestic Tax Department Darlingston Y. Talery said the ITAS Project is being implemented with funding from the International Development Association (IDA), European Union, and the Government of Sweden, through the overall Public Financial Management Reform and Institutional Strengthening Project (PFMRISP).
He was quick to disclose that the project implementation spans across 5 years, and is being budgeted at a cost of US$5,332,228.
The ITAS project seeks to achieve two main objectives including improving taxpayers’ compliance and increasing domestic revenue.
He said the project when completed, will avail a self-service platform to taxpayers with value-added functionalities such as online registration, online filing, online payment and minimum data entry (due to multiple integrations with other systems).
“The system is being implemented by a consortium of ArabSoft and Farsight Africa Group of Tunisia and Kenya respectively. Arabsoft and Farsight Africa Group were selected after a robust procurement process that lasted for about a year. The procurement and selection of the ITAS vendor was conducted in accordance with the World Bank Procurement Regulations,” he said.
He, however, disclosed that the implementation team comprising of staff of the LRA and Arabsoft/Farsight has gotten their feet wet already.
He noted that all project initiation documents and plans have been signed-off by the LRA and ArabSoft/Farsight and the team is currently concluding the business process review and re-engineering stage of the project.
Disclosing further, Tarlery said with respect to project governance, the ITAS Steering committee, comprising of stakeholders of the LRA, other government ministries/agencies, donor community and the ITAS Vendor, was constituted and has held its first meeting (in the first quarter of 2021).
He said given the complexity of the project and the need to manage risk, the implementation is sequenced into two phases, Phase one, which is scheduled to be completed in early 2022, will deliver core functions including Taxpayer Registration, Return Processing and Assessments, Payments Processing, Taxpayer and Revenue Accounting, Compliance Management and Enforcement, Reporting and Business Intelligence, Taxpayer Service, Workflow Management and Case Management.
While Phase two will be completed in early 2023 and will provide automated functionalities for Risk Analysis, Audit, Protests and Appeals, Refunds, Investigations, Document Management, Tax Analysis and Revenue Forecasting.