The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) recently convened a two-day forum, where they exposed students of Gambia Hotel School to the mandates and revenue laws of the authority.
The event organised by GRA was supported by UNDP through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs. The event held at Metzy Hotel, was also designed to enlighten students on the mandates of the authority and its various tax systems.
At the event, Ousman Bah, head of Corporate Affairs at GRA, on behalf of the Commissioner General, reminded that before the corona virus, the hotel industry was amongst the top industries generating a significant amount of revenue to the Authority, particularly Value Added Tax (VAT).
However, he stressed that, today the industry has suffered a significant drop both in the number of tourist arrivals and revenue in the country.
“With the aforementioned, it is important that students and also future employees of the hotel industry are exposed to the fundamentals of taxation, taxpayer’s obligations and rights which is key to revenue mobilization and compliance management.”
The seminar, he added, is part of the authority’s 2020-2024 strategic plan and goal two, which he said, is to optimise client service delivery for improved customer relations.
“In simple terms, it is also meant to engage, educate and sensitise all stakeholders to enhance their understanding about the significance of tax revenue and its contribution to the national development programmes.”
Bah reminded that GRA launched the Taxpayers Charter in April 2022, which defines taxpayer’s rights and obligations under the Income & VAT Tax Act (2012), Customs and Excise Act (2010) and other revenue laws administered by the authority.
“It also specifies the Authority’s legal obligations under these laws and bringing in transparency into the tax service which promotes tax compliance. During the deliberations in this Seminar, the facilitators will enlighten you more on the Charter to deepen your understanding.”
For his part, Momodou Singhateh, deputy Director General of the Gambia Hotel School, said he is delighted for his institution to be associated with such an important event, where they would be exposed to necessary information surrounding revenue laws in the country.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the management of the Gambia Revenue Authority and their collaborative partner the Ministry Finance and Economic Affairs for coming up with this laudable initiative that intends and has amongst its objectives the need to sensitise this institution on tax payment.”