Census Enumerators Decry Tax Deduction On Their Income


By Lamin Fatty

Enumerators for this year’s population and housing census have informed this medium that the tax deduction about to be made on their contract payment is unacceptable.

They said this information, divulged at the tail end of their training, has killed the morale of many of them who are now set to be deployed in the field for data collection.

However, when contacted to shed light on the above information, theDirector of quality and data dissemination at Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBOS), said “paying tax in the Gambia is non-negotiable.” 

Mr. Sanna Manjang made this statement on Wednesday, 22 May 2024 in Giroba Kunda village in the Upper River Region (URR), while responding to queries made by the trainee enumerators selected for the upcoming population and housing census scheduled to commence on the 25th of May 2024. 

Most of the trainees who spoke to this reporter queried that they should not be deducted any tax.

“I want to know why I should be deducted because I participated in many surveys, but I was never deducted for tax. So why should GBOS deduct our pay?”Amadou Jawo, one of the trainees, asked.

On his part, AlagieJallow, another trainee, said the information of tax deduction was a thunderbolt out of the blue to many of them because they never expected it, adding that GBOS also waited until the end of their training, to inform them.

“Even though we have been paying tax in one way or the other, this particular information from GBOS at the tail end of our training has surprised us. Many of us have participated in similar activities and were never deducted for tax. So for GBOS to wait until the end of our training to inform us is quite suspicious to many of us,” Mr. Jallow said.

Muhammad Jobarteh, another trainee also asked if this was the first time that GBOS is making tax deductions for census workers. According to him, he has been engaged in many surveys where they were never deducted in the name of tax, even though their monthly salaries at their departments are subject to deductions,” Jobarteh queried.

Mr. Jabbi, also another trainee who commented on the above issue, said at the beginning of the training, they were informed about how much they should get from the whole activity and they were never informed of any such deduction on their earnings at the end of their work.

Manjang said a tax deduction of 10% on earned income is a law that was enacted by the National Assembly on anyone who earns D2,000 and above, noting that the fact that other institutions are not deducting anything from people, it does not mean that the law does not exist. 

According to him, GBOS was not deducting enumerators before and that is why the government charged them to pay back those taxes, because of their past activities of not deducting enumerators.

“Paying tax is non-negotiable unless the law is changed at the National Assembly. Otherwise, we are obliged to pay this tax because these are some of the queries observed by the National Audit Office in our activity and financial reports, at the end of the year,” Mr. Manjang explained.

The training of enumerators for the upcoming population and housing census commenced on the 25 of April 2024 in Basse while the training for enumerators and supervisions commenced  last week and ended on Thursday, 23 of May 2024. 

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