The Domestic Taxes Department (DTD) was formed in 2011 with the main objective of simplifying tax administration and making it easier for taxpayers to comply with their tax obligations. Over the last few years, the NRA modernization programme has focused on effective “Customer Service Delivery” and the formation of the DTD was instrumental to that principle.
Since the main focus of DTD is “Customer Service Delivery”, the department is structured along functional lines instead of tax type under the old system.
Each operational area has four main functions:
- Taxpayer Registration and Services
- Returns and Payment Processing
- Compliance and Debt Enforcement
- Audit and Assessment
These functions ensure that we can provide better in-house services to our taxpayers in terms of taxpayer services and returns processing; but also ensure that compliance increases under our self-assessment system by monitoring debt and filings.
In forming DTD, both the administration of Income Tax and Goods and Services Tax (GST) were combined. The advantage of this combination for the customer was that it made it easier for them to comply as they only had to deal with one tax office for all their tax issues; and for the NRA it made us more effective as we will continue to have a holistic view of the taxpayer.
The DTD is segmented into different tax offices. The Large Taxpayers Office (LTO) deals with the largest taxpayers and mainly includes Multinationals, Extractive & Mining Operators, Telecommunication Companies, Banking & Finance Players, Large Importers and Major Contractors. We strive to provide first class services for all our large taxpayers as they are small in number but contribute more than 80% of revenue generated.
The other operational tax office under DTD is the Small and Medium Taxpayers Office (SMTO) that manages all other taxpayers that are not large taxpayers. The SMTO has its SMTOHQ in Freetown that deals with Medium Taxpayers—three tax districts in Freetown (Freetown East, Freetown Central and Freetown West) that manage small and micro taxpayers; and four provincial offices in Bo, Makeni, Kono and Kenema servicing taxpayers in those regions.
There is also the Design and Monitoring (D & M) Unit of the DTD. D & M prepares all procedures, practice notes, forms, guidance etc. for operations. They also monitor operations to ensure that procedures are similarly implemented across operations.