The Commissioner General of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Elfrieda Stewart Tamba has lauded the European Union (EU) for its invaluable support towards strengthening the LRA Customs Department, aimed at improving trade facilitation and boosting customs revenue.
She said the LRA particularly appreciates Long-Term Technical Assistance to the Customs Department and stressed the need for further support to cover the Domestic Tax Department, in transforming revenue administration in Liberia, and making the LRA a modern tax entity. The EU is funding a Long Term Technical Assistance up to October 2018 to the Customs Department of LRA at the cost of about US$2.3 million. Tamba was speaking when the EU Ambassador to Liberia, Tiina Intelmann, along with two parliamentarians from Estonia, paid an acquaintance visit recently to the LRA to hold discussions. The two Estonian parliamentarians included Mart Nutt and Mati Raidma head and deputy head of Friendship Group respectively. The Estonian parliamentarian delegation was in the country to tour and inspect projects being supported by the EU as well as those specifically funded by Estonia. Estonia is a member of the EU. The LRA, in September 2016, signed an MOU with the Estonian Revenue Agency to support LRA modernization program, including working with the National Legislature to introduce e-governance in Liberia. Ambassador Intelmann welcomed the progress at the LRA and, along with the two parliamentarians, made several inquiries covering tax compliance, risk and strategies being applied by the LRA to reach taxpayers and the response by the public to paying taxes. Tamba and deputies later led Intelmann and the two parliamentarians on a tour of its Data Center, Taxpayers Services Unit, including the Tax Payment Center, explaining how these important segments of the LRA function as well as the challenges being experienced.