The Ministry of Health and Sanitation is to account for the sum of Le2.9m as unpaid taxes to the National Revenue Authority (NRA) as was revealed through the Scrutiny done by the Audit Service.

Audit Service Sierra Leone in their findings revealed glaring non-compliance with tax regulations, resulting in the accumulation of outstanding payments to the National Revenue Authority (NRA).

The audit unearthed instances where selected hospitals and healthcare facilities failed to remit withholding and PAYE taxes, breaching provisions of the Income Tax Act, 2000, and NASSIT Act, 2001

They also disclosed that, reviewing allocation of funds to these establishments, it was discovered that statutory deductions for the year 2022 remained unpaid, amounting to a staggering SLE3,018,461.87.

The Ministry of Health has committed to paying off SLE153,910.18 (for Jan-June 2022) and SLE148.543.85 (for Jul-Dec. 2022) in the third and fourth quarters of 2023, respectively, for the National Emergency Medical Services (NEMS).

The management of the Sierra Leone Social Health Insurance Scheme (SLeSHI) assured that efforts were underway to resolve the issue. Despite using the Ministry’s Tax Identification Number (TIN) for tax payments, delays in obtaining a separate TIN for SLeSHI hampered the process.

The auditors acknowledged the Ministry’s management responses and payment plans but noted that only SLE156,315.28 (representing 5% of the queried amount) in withholding taxes were submitted and verified, leaving a substantial unresolved amount of SLE2,862,146.59  during the audit verification.