Taxation forms a critical backbone of the Gambian Economy, as the main source of funding government development projects. However, since the early 2000s, the Gambia has embarked on a series of tax reforms ranging from the simplification of tax code, introduction of a tax identification number, introduction of e- payment and Value Added Tax.
Whilst these reforms continue to yield positive results, there still remains a scope for improvement- especially in light of the growing presence of trans-border corporations in the Gambia and ICT as lead factor for reducing the cost of collection.
Fair taxation can help fight inequality and ensure the implementation of the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Recent scale of tax dodging by Multinational corporations has cast the spotlight on the need for reforms of the international tax system.
In light of the forgoing, the Ministry, as part of the 2020 Appropriation Bills had approval to setup a Tax Advisory Committee to pull the critical resources required to speed up the progress of the tax reforms- fully representing the concerns and needs of the taxpayers.
The current structure of the Gambia’s tax system is largely anchored on a limited number of large tax payers- accounting for a biggest share of domestic resource. This poses problems of inequality, unfairness, vulnerabilities and high risk of non-compliance. Hence this committee is set up to address these challenges. The committee will perform advisory service support to the MOFEA in order to tackle the following:
- Making the tax system a private sector friendly- to spur economic growth
- Strengthen the national tax framework in order to make it more just and inclusive
- Examine and advice MOFEA on building an informal tax administration strategy
- Advise on tax dispute management and resolution
- Provide advice on designing a more comprehensive framework on addressing the challenges of double taxation
- Advise on a framework to broaden the tax base to ensure a fair and inclusive tax system
- Support a taxpayer education strategy to minimize the compliance cost to promote compliance
- Bring together the elements necessary for building a global agenda for a global consensus against the race to the bottom and harmful tax competition
- Provide expert advice on how to leverage on the ICT to enhance tax administration
- Examine the tax system and provide a medium-term tax policy and reform strategy
The committee will pull expert resources from a cross section of institutional establishments displaying adequate understanding of the tax system and how it impacts both domestic resource mobilization and private sector growth.
The committee comprises the following
- Mr. Alieu JARBOH- Tax Consultant
- Chairperson of Gambia Revenue Authority
- Chairperson of Public Utility and Regulatory Authority
- President, Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- President of Gambia’s Bankers Association
- Mr. Sola MAHONEY, Fajara
The committee will meet once every quarter to deliberate and provide support on burning issues affecting economic activities vis-à-vis domestic tax policy and administration and proffer expertise advice on ways of improving the current tax system.
IMMEDIATE AND SHORT TERM
- Review and comments on the Concept Note and the role of the Advisory Committee.
- Address sensitive issues to bring about more tax equity and fairness in the tax regime. Members may pick up ideas on mitigating factors and how to deal with them.
- Put in suggestions as to how the committee could improve sustainable Taxpayer Information, assistance and education programs with forceful tax enforcement teams.
MEDIUM TERM SOLUTIONS
- Building an Informal Tax Sector strategy. This will include high risknon-compliant taxpayers, Rental income tax, emerging tax ghosts and moonlighters.
- Means of Upgrading and Strengthening the existing ICT and Banking systems in the collection of taxes. Further introduction of Electronic Filing is necessary.
- Consider different approaches on how to tackle tax disputes including the full operations of the establishment of the Tax Tribunal.
LONG TERM SOLUTIONS
- Address matters relating to International Trade and taxation of Multinational Corporations. Solutions to arrest transfer pricing and thin capitalization of Holding companies from high tax regimes to low tax haven countries.
- Discuss challenges faced in Double Taxation Agreements. Negotiators should include among others, competent personnel from MFEA and GRA.
Consider reviewing and amending some provisions of the Tax Laws to be aligned with National and Internationally Accepted best Practices