As part of the consultative process in developing the FY2024 Finance Act, the Ministry of Finance has, on Wednesday 18th, October 2023, engaged representatives from the Banking Sector on proposals in the Finance Act 2024 to be presented in Parliament by the Minister of Finance.
In his brief remarks, Principal Deputy Financial Secretary (PDFS) Samuel E.B Momoh stated that the leadership decided to engage and explain to key stakeholders, including the Banking Sector, about the formulation of the tax policies that would be incorporated in the formulation of the Finance Act for 2024.
The private sector, he said, is an important pillar to the development and growth of the economy, and the government wants businesses to strive.
Mr Momoh also said in the past that Finance Acts and tax policy changes have resulted in public outcry, which is why the Ministry is now engaging in these consultations to find common ground that will help the smooth implementation of the proposed Finance Act of 2024.
The Deputy Director of the Revenue and Tax Policy Division of the Ministry of Finance, Mohamed Salisu, explained that the government has proposed reducing some taxes and improving enforcement in certain areas.
He further explains that the government is thinking of reducing the tax rate of Stamp Duties, the days of Demurrage from five days to an appreciable day excluding the holidays, defining what turnover means in the Banking sector, and also looking at the area of Cooperate tax and Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) and the export returns of 30% of the finances sold from the goods taken out of the country.
The meeting climaxed with questions and clarifications from the representatives from the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB), United Bank for Africa (UBA), Eco Bank, etc.
All agreed that the Association of Bankers would sit and discuss the proposal put forward to them and later get back to the Ministry of Finance with a Position Paper by Friday, 20th October 2023.