MONROVIA, January 19 (LINA) - Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Commissioner General Elfrieda Stewart Tamba has called for concerted effort among stakeholders in combating tax frauds and ensuring revenues protection for the people.
The Commissioner General noted that the trend via which US$50 to US$60 billion was leaving Africa annually through illicit financial flow must be immediately reversed.
In 2015, former South African President Thabo Mbeki (when he headed the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa) reported that US$50 to US$60 billion was leaving Africa annually through illicit financial flow.
“This trend must be reversed,” Tamba, also Chairperson of the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), said Tuesday. “The drive to reversing this trend,” she added, “must commence with us and now.”
The Commissioner General made the call when she spoke at the opening of a three-day stakeholders training under the auspices of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) at a local hotel in Paynesville.
The OECD promotes policies that seek to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world by providing a forum in which governments work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems.
The Commissioner General welcomed Mr. Sivasankaran Pattanam, Tax Policy Analyst from the OECD and the Global Forum For Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes for the “timely facilitation the important capacity building and sensitization mission to Liberia”.
The workshop is being held as a ‘Technical Assistance’ to Liberia on the ‘Next Round Peer Review and Other Global Forum Initiatives’ relative to the Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.
The technical assistance is important for Liberia as it aims to accomplish two goals, Tamba noted.
One is to seek to strengthen collaboration and sensitization among local stakeholders to enhance preparedness of Liberia to ensure passage of the next Round of Peer Review to avoid the blacklisting of the country for lack of transparency in tax matters including the exchange of information for tax purpose and the implementation of a new legal framework.
Secondly, the technical assistance will strengthen the capacity of the LRA in the field of exchange of information for tax matters.
Mr. Sivasankaran Pattanam, Tax Policy Analyst of Global Forum Secretariat, gave an overview of the Technical Assistance on Next Round Peer Review and other Global Forum Initiatives, while applauding the LRA for steps it has taken.
With participants drawn from the LRA, MFDP, Law Reform Commission, and Ministry of Commerce, among others, the training will further enhance local capacity to more effectively combat, inter alia, tax evasion, aggressive tax planning, illicit flow of capital, and money laundering, and to facilitate the collection of lawful revenues.