Gabon businesses to pay tax online
By Issa Sikiti da Silva, Gabon
The payment of taxes in Gabon will no longer be done through a procedure of a huge stake of papers and stamps, and by moving from one office to another.
The government of Ali Bongo, in its quest of making the country an ICT hub, has launched a digital initiative called [email protected] (www.etax.dgi.ga) where taxpayers will pay their taxes, including VAT returns, without hassle and stress.
It is the first of this kind in Central Africa, a region where experts say the development of ICTs seems to be moving at a slow rate.
Though the site was launched in February this year, it is only this week that the project to pay tax online became a reality.
Joel Ogouma, taxation department (DGI) director general, said the state made a decision to change its image and put in place the services that suit best the current realities of the world and the corporate sector.
“We have invested in this project and performed these tasks with efficiency and success for the best interests of ourselves and our taxpayers,” he said.
The project was launched by the DGI, in association with the Treasury and the National Agency for Infrastructure and Digital Frequencies (ANINF).
Gabon’s Chamber of Commerce and the World Bank, to name only a few, have long complained of the inefficiency of the country’s taxation system, and local industry watchers have been calling on the state to work hard to improve the system.
Gabon minister of economy Luc Oyoubi said that any proposal that would go in the direction of improving the tax system should be encouraged.
And the state said this week that it has brought this revolution to, among others, catch-up with Gabon's ICT delays compared to other African countries, and establish Gabon as a country of reference in regard to quality services offered.
The Presidency said that the initiative, which will be available 7/7 and 24 hours, intends to facilitate administrative procedures, streamline communication, modernise the state services from the benefit of users, and improve the quality of information.
“I applaud this government initiative because it will save us time and resources, as everything will now be done from the comfort of our offices and homes,” entrepreneur Jean-Hilaire Ndong said in the capital Libreville.