Sabotaging Sierra Leone’s Economy
The rate at which parastatals and private institutions are now evading taxes has become a cause for the concern of this press, considering the crippling state of our economy. Twenty-five parastatals and many private institutions are owing our National Revenue Authority (NRA) a colossal amount of money as accumulated taxes over the years.
We view the unpatriotic behavior of indebted parastatals and private institutions as a calculated attempt to sabotage our struggling economy as taxes form the bedrock upon which rests our economy and that of any other nation. Tax payment is very important to the development of any nation. Even Jesus Christ emphasized the importance of tax payment by telling the Pharisees to “give to Ceaser what belongs to Ceaser when He was responding to the question of whether tax payment was legal. Almost all the highly developed countries on this planet owe their development to the taxes paid by their citizens.
Therefore, any country that is serious about development must not encourage tax evasion which bears the potential to wreck the economy of a nation and, consequently, stifle its development. Tax evasion is a serious crime against the state and must not go unpunished. When tax evasion becomes rampant, the state economy is severely undermined.
So, NRA must try to put in place more draconic laws against tax evasion and must crack down on the parastatals and private institutions which keep sabotaging our economy by failing to pay their taxes. Being a staggering economy, Sierra Leone heavily relies on taxes to forge ahead, so, tax evasion must never be encouraged from anybody or any institution. Those criminally-minded heads of private institutions who attempt to escape after accumulating huge amount of taxes must be facing drastic penalties when arrested to serve as a deterrent to others. The NRA must not just arrest and squeeze the taxes out of them and leave them to go scot free, they must be penalized drastically for trying to kill our economy.
There is also the need for the Tax Evasion Unit to be provided with more logistics to pursue and prosecute tax evaders in order to minimize or, if possible, eradicate the rampant tax evasion now plaguing this nation.
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