GRA engages staff on revenue laws 

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By Mustapha Jallow 

In its ongoing reform programmes, the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) on Monday engaged its staff on revenue laws and policies administered by the authority to boost revenue generation.  

Drawn from various units of GRA across the country, the officials felt that it’s very important for their staff to have more understanding about its authority’s laws, especially how these laws are interpreted, and applied, and how they relate to the mandate and functions of the Authority.  

Held at the Senegambia Hotel, the training is also part of the activities of the Legal Department as enshrined in the institution’s current Corporate Strategic Plan. With support from the French Development Agency (FDA), the session was attended by GRA heads, staff and participants (customs officers). 

“This, without a doubt, will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our staff in the discharge of their functions as revenue administrators,’’ remarked Yankuba Darboe, Commissioner General for GRA. 

He explained how the authority is charged with the mandate to act as an agent of the government of the Gambia to administer, assess, and collect revenue on behalf of the government. He highlighted some of the main legislations that govern the operations of GRA – such as the Customs and Excise Act 2010, the Income and Value Added Tax Act 2012, and the GRA Act 2004. 

As revenue administrators, CG Darboe explained how the public relies on their knowledge of the tax laws, fair, impartial, interpretation, and application of same, saying this will ultimately build trust and confidence between GRA and the business community and enhance taxpayer compliance. 

He sincerely thanked the AFD for the continuous support provided to GRA for their ongoing reform programs.  

“I, therefore, urge you to take this training very seriously and pay keen attention to the lectures. Don’t be afraid to engage the resource persons,’’ Darboe advised participants. 

EssaJallow, the Deputy Commissioner for GRA also talked more about how participants will go through some of the regulations and legal frameworks, which guide their day-to-day work.  

“It’s very important that we create general awareness for our staff regarding these laws,’’ he said.  

The most important tool for a revenue officer, he added, “is the laws and regulations are in place to guide our decisions and ensure that we can collect revenue for the state as prescribed by statute.’’ 

The decisions they make in the job, he said, have to be consistent with the laws and regulations under their purviews, Jallow said. 

On taxpayers, he told participants that taxpayers are supposed to voluntarily discharge their obligations to declare the amount payable by filing a return or submitting a declaration – and therefore make accurate payments.