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ECOWAS To Introduce VAT In Liberia’s Tax System

by Varflay Kamara

A 69-page report that reviews the 2018 to 2022 mandate of the outgoing ECOWAS leadership has revealed the regional body’s preparedness to introduce the Value Added Tax in the tax system of Liberia beginning 2023.

ECOWAS said the VAT program will impose 0.5 percent tax levy on all goods and services from non-member states.

According to the report, the intention is to generate tax revenues that will enable the ECOWAS Commission to implement programs in the region.

“Two hundred and thirty-one (231) senior tax officials have been trained over the past four years in computer-assisted tax control techniques on specific topics. In this regard, the Commission’s support is being implemented in favour of Guinea Bissau and Liberia for the introduction of Value Added TAX (VAT) in their systems from 2023”, the report added.

The Value Added TAX instrument falls directly under the Customs Union and Taxation of the Trade protocol.

When consistently implemented, ECOWAS said the levy and mechanism would act as support funds base providing the community with the necessary funds to meet a wide range of financial obligations.

In the area of illicit financing, the report recommended the need for member states to strengthen their capacity to prosecute criminal cases and exchange information of financial flows.

In terms of health, the report acknowledged the ambitious step taken by Liberian Health authorities to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The report highlighted the urgent need for the ECOWAS Commission to intensify its effort and actions to support the most disadvantaged population of the ECOWAS community.

It said over the next thirty years, all the Commission’s actions and decisions will have to take into account the objectives of the 2050 vision.

The former President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, remarked in the report encouraging “ECOWAS to strengthen the institutional reforms the body has initiated, consolidate solidarity through a stronger community, so that together we can meet these challenges and strengthen Africa’s place at all levels on the world stage”.

ECOWAS continues to enjoy vibrancy but its challenge has always been Member states’ inconsistency in the implementation of its protocols and agreements especially on Free Trade.

This is why a new dynamism of an inclusive media advocacy on trade has taken the front-burner especially in the Anglophone Countries.

On July 3, 2022, at the 61st ordinary session of the Authority Heads of State and Government, the Economic Community of West African States elected Omaro Mokhtar Sissoco Embalo, president of Guinea Bissau, as new Chairman.

President Sissoco Embalo replaced Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo while Dr. Omar Alieu Tourey, a Gambian national assumed the position as President of the ECOWAS Commission for a four-year tenue replacing Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.



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