The Gambia is said to be a tax based economy. This means that the money that comes to the national coffers is almost exclusively from the taxes paid by the citizens and companies. The Gambia has very little or no natural resources and so government has to levy taxes on goods and services in order to have resources to do its job.
For the above reasons, it is very important that citizens pay their taxes correctly and regularly. A true patriot will never defraud the government by evading tax payment. The Gambia Revenue Authority is tasked with collecting taxes from all the people living in the country.
Considering that this is the main avenue through which we get money to run the affairs of the State, it will be extremely unfortunate if, for some reason, people do not pay tax at the right time and/or at the right rate. This is moreso for companies and corporations that operate in the country. The GRA should therefore come up with ways and means to ensure that no one – individual or company – evades the payment of taxes.
It is often heard that individual so and so or company x or y owes the government millions of dalasis of taxes. How on earth do we allow such to happen knowing that without these taxes the government will not be able to do what it is supposed to do? Love of country requires that every citizen endeavors to pay his/her taxes.
Again, the collection of taxes by the government is supposed to be for the purpose of spending it [the money] on service delivery for the benefit of the citizens of the country. If government collects taxes from the people and spends it where it is supposed to be spent; on healthcare delivery, on construction of roads, provision of water and electricity, on providing quality education and other sectors, citizens will no longer see the payment of taxes as a burden. This will make it easier for government to enforce the laws on tax payment and collection.
However, if the citizens observe that instead of using the taxes paid to develop the infrastructure and other amenities in the country, officials only use it to enrich themselves, it will make it that much easier for them to find a way to beat the system and avoid paying up.
Thus, it’s a two-way deal. Whereas the government should endeavor to use the tax in its proper place, the citizens should be patriotic enough to pay their dues. That is nation building.