The National Revenue Authority (NRA) engaged stakeholders from various business communities and other key players within the business environment on Thursday 30th September 2021 at the Hub Hotel, Wilberforce Freetown.
In his opening statement, the Commissioner-General Dr. Samuel S. Jibao said that the institution has moved from a draconic and coercive method of Tax Administration to a more customer-centred approach of doing business. He continued to say, "we want to reduce the cost of compliance on taxpayers by making our processes and procedures easy to follow". He pointed out that the reforms are in full gear and that there are major requirements for businesses and individuals involved in any commercial activity to meet. One of those requirements is acquiring a New Taxpayer Identification Number (NTIN). "What we have now is businesses with more than one TIN numbers which is making our processes very cumbersome especially for tracking purposes". Dr. Jibao said that the systems currently deployed by the NRA require a NTIN which is issued across all NRA offices. He emphasized that the National Identification Number (NIN) which is a unique biometric identifier is a major requirement for obtaining a NTIN. In her statement, the Deputy Commissioner-General, Mrs Jeneba J. Bangura commented that the institution cannot overemphasize the importance of re-registration for NTINs compliance. "The NRA will be unable to conduct business with taxpayers with Old TINs. Our new systems are configured to process transactions using the NTIN only" she continued. The Commissioner for Domestic Tax Department (DTD), Dr. Ibrahim Sorie Kamara noted that the systems are not deployed in a vacuum. The NRA has put in place Customer Support Services such as the Call Centre and Help Desk to help guide taxpayers during the pilot and roll-out phases. The NRA made detailed presentations on major NRA reforms. After the presentation, the NRA led a dialogue during which businesspeople from various sectors expressed successes, concerns and challenges encountered thus far during the various implementation phases. The meeting ended on a very good note with participants calling for frequent dialogue meetings.