Director’s Foreword

I am delighted to present to our respected taxpayers the Taxpayers’ Charter of the Inland Revenue Department (IRD). This charter shows our passion and commitment to the reform programs championed by the Minister of Finance Development Dr. Sa’ad Ali Shire. This charter presents our vision, mission, core values and taxpayer services. The essence of this charter is the Rights and Obligations of Taxpayers.

The IRD wants to manage Somaliland’s Domestic Tax Systems in a way that builds taxpayer confidence. To do this, we need to build a relationship with taxpayers based on mutual trust and respect. In building that relationship, we:

  • Are open, transparent and accountable in our dealings with taxpayers.
  • Are professional, responsive and fair, taking into account your circumstances and previous compliance behaviour.
  • Try to make it as easy as possible for you to comply with your tax obligations.
  • Help you to comply by giving you advice and information you can rely on.
  • Try to reduce the cost of to you to comply, and
  • Are firm with those who try to avoid their obligations, and effective in bringing them to account.

The Taxpayer’s Charter explains what you can expect from us in meeting these commitments.

Abdisalam Mohamed Mohamoud

Director of Inland Revenue Department

Introduction

Somaliland’s tax laws require that we pay taxes, which fund a range of government programmes and community services, such as education, salaries of public servants, health, and defence. We are implementing a modern tax system based on taxpayers self-assessing their  liabilities. As part of this system we provide a wide range of services to help you pay your taxes.

The Ministry of Finance Development and its IRD operates on the fundamental principle that citizens and non-resident taxpayers will act in accordance with the law when they are treated with respect and fairness and provided with all the information, advice, assistance and other services they need to comply with their obligations.

This Taxpayers’ Charter sets out in simple terms your rights and your obligations as a taxpayer, and outlines the services we provide. It does not replace the law itself. Including both your rights and your obligations reflects the cooperative relationship we seek with the community, based on mutual trust and respect.

IRD’s Vision, Mission and Objectives

Our Vision –

To be a leading performing oriented revenue administration, characterized by fairness, innovation and service excellence.

Our Mission –

The purpose of the Inland Revenue Department is to collect the proper amount of tax revenue at the least cost, to serve the public by continually improving the quality of our products and services, and to promote confidence and ensure integrity of management so as to obtain the trust of all stakeholders and the public.

Our Objectives –

The key objectives of IRD are to:

  • Expand the tax base;
  • Achieve revenue targets by ensuring on-time filing and on-time payment of the correct amount by taxpayers;
  • Foster taxpaying culture through tax awareness and education programs;
  • Improve the quality of service to taxpayers;
  • Restructure IRD to better achieve its mission.

IRD Services to you

IRD is organized in the most efficient way to serve you. Its core services that help taxpayers are:

  • Taxpayer’s Help and Information Desk Services
  • Taxpayer Registration and TIN Issuance Services.
  • Return Processing Services
  • Tax Clearance Services
  • Tax Audit and Assessment Services
  • Tax Payment Services
  • Tax Debt Management Services
  • Taxpayer Enquires and Compliant Services

The Taxpayers’ Charter

This Taxpayers’ Charter sets out in simple terms your rights and your obligations as a taxpayer. It does not replace the law itself. Including both your rights and your obligations reflects the cooperative relationship we seek with the community, based on mutual trust and respect.

Your rights as a taxpayer –

You are entitled to the following from us:

Right What service it means you can expect
1.     Information and help to comply with the revenue law We will answer your enquiries at IRD offices, help you complete forms, provide help on our website and on social media, and provide reasons for decisions we made about your liability when requested.
2.     Treatment with respect, courtesy, dignity, and impartiality We will listen to your concerns, be polite and respectful in dealing with you, and not give particular people or groups special treatment. We will accept what you tell us, unless we have reason to think you are not being honest.
3.     If you complain, object or appeal, consider your request and respond to you as soon as possible If you are unhappy with the treatment you received, you can complain to the manager of the section or office concerned. If your concern cannot be resolved at that level, you may make a written complaint to the Ministry’s Public Relations and Customer Care section.
4.     Have your privacy respected and the information we receive from you treated as confidential Information about your business will only be shared internally to enable the Ministry to do its work, with other agencies when the law permits or requires this, or with your consent to share that information.

Your obligations as a taxpayer –

We expect the following from you:

Obligation What it means you must do
1.     Register your business with us promptly when required Apply for a taxpayer identification number (TIN) on the official form within 21 days of commencing business, or when requested by the IRD, if your turnover exceeds the registration threshold of Slsh 5 million.
2.     File your returns, pay your taxes, withhold and pay withholding taxes, as required by the law and on time File returns by the due date in the official forms for taxes that you are liable to pay.

Withhold tax from payments to others, such as employees and non residents, when required by law

Pay taxes, including taxes withheld, on time.

3.     Keep complete, accurate and up-to-date records for at least five years Make records of your transactions and assets that are sufficient for you to work out your tax liabilities.

Keep these records for five years after the end of the income year in which the transactions occurred.

Translate particular records to Somali if required.

4.     Be open and honest in your dealings with us Provide complete and accurate returns and information when required to do so. Answer questions completely and honestly.
5.     Cooperate with our staff and treat them with respect, courtesy, and dignity Listen to our requests and comply with them

Avoid actions which obstruct our staff in performing their duties,

be polite and respectful in dealing with our staff.

6.     Take steps to understand your obligations, and take care to avoid mistakes Get advice from the IRD or another expert on your tax liabilities, and make sure you understand that advice.

Ensure that, when making records, working out taxes and completing returns and forms, that you understand the requirements and the information given is correct.

Taxpayers’ Charter Service Standards

The Taxpayer’s Charter shows standard times which we aim to meet in providing services to taxpayers. The timeline starts from the time you have provided us all the information that we need or met any other requirements to provide the service (specified in the table below).

The Ministry of Finance Development is progressively implementing new Revenue and Customs laws. These service standards will be added to as new processes are added to support the implementation of aspects of those laws.

Process Requirements Time for service – Hargeisa How the time is measured
Make an enquiry at a district or head office. Any further information needed will be advised when you make the enquiry. Maximum wait time 30 minutes Feedback from taxpayers
Register a taxpayer and issue TIN certificate for an individual ·  Completed application,

·  National identity card or passport,

·  trade licence.

1 working day Dates application accepted and certificate/ notification issued
Register a taxpayer and issue TIN certificate for company, partnership, association, etc ·  Completed application,

·  National identity card or passport of the CEO/managing director,

·  trade licence,

·  articles of association, partnership agreement or other document evidencing the existence and nature of the taxpayer

1 working day Dates application accepted and certificate/ notification issued
Issue a tax clearance certificate ·  Completed application including TIN 4 working days Dates application accepted and certificate issued