General News of Thursday, 4 April 2013
Source: Joy Online
President John Dramani Mahama has described as “misplaced” arguments raised in sections of the media against his filling of tax returns and the payment of taxes.
According to the official website of Daily Graphic, a statement signed by Executive Secretary to the President said as Vice President between January 7, 2009 and June 2012, President Mahama was required to pay tax.
The statement explained that even though it will not be the first time the President was filing his tax returns, he made this one public to encourage other people earning revenue to honour their tax returns.
Joy News’ Francis Abban said the statement confirmed the President made profits from the sale of his book, “My First Coup d’état” and his farm and was filing returns on those incomes.
But per article 68(5), the President is exempt from paying taxes.
The Executive Secretary to the President, Raymond Atuguba, explained article 68(5) of the 1992 Constitution did not exempt a Vice President from paying taxes, and at all material times referred to the President, but not the Vice President.
The statement further explained article 68(1) barred the President from holding any office of profit or emoluments.
Hence for this tax year 2013, the President would have to pay taxes from the sale of his book and on other businesses within the meaning of article 68(1).