Accra, Aug. 17, GNA – The Pentecost University College Graduate School (PUCGS), has called on government to reduce the tax rate to encourage voluntary compliance.
The University stressed that the tax burden in the country seems to be very high, resulting in the slowdown of business activities and adversely impacting on economic growth as the disposable income of tax payers is significantly reduced.
This was in a statement signed by Prof. Kwame Boasiako Omane-Antwi, Vice Rector and Dean of PUCGS and copied to the Ghana News Agency, in a recommendation at the end of a seminar dubbed ‘Mid-Year Review of the 2014 Budget Statement’ organized in Accra.
The seminar forms part of the University’s contribution towards national development and to create awareness of tax issues in the country and admonished that leakages in the tax system should also be plugged rather than resorting to tax rate increases.
Prof Omane-Antwi said the seminar called for the reduction of the number of Projects in the Budget, stressing that, the budget, like most budgets of the Government, has too many projects, which by the end of the budget cycle remain uncompleted.
The statement advised government to move towards planning programme budgeting system so that in the face of resource constraint, government can prioritize projects by selecting those with higher socio-economic impact that can be adequately be completed in good time.
It also called for enhanced tax incentives to curb tax evasion and abusive tax practices by adopting cost effective and humane measures to promote willingness to honour tax obligations, especially at the country’s ports and bonded warehouses to ensure more resources mobilization.
‘Additionally, more training must be provided to the Ghana Revenue Authority staff to prevent loss of revenue from dubious and fraudulent transfer pricing practices by multinational organizations’ the statement added.
The recommendation called on government to manage tax shortfalls by reducing wastages in the system and concentrate on few but essential projects for economic use of tax payers money and the need to improve government’s revenue estimation techniques to reduce the effects of revenue shortfalls as a result of low tax base and high tax rates.
The recommendation also called for equitable tax burden distribution, where the tax net must be widened to rope in more tax payers, particularly from the informal sector, to lessen the tax burden on the existing tax payers, mostly in the formal sectors of the economy.
It urged government to link the GH¢ 3.2 Billion Supplementary Budget to specific programmes and manage corruption, and that, the recent supplementary budget must be used on specific projects which have the tendency to drive economic growth and create sustainable jobs.
The recommendation urged government to provide cheaper means of financing for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and support in value addition or creation enterprises, since SMEs pay high rates of interest on loans from banks and other financial institutions.
The statement also called for continuous tracking of financial performance of government to ensure fiscal discipline, accountability, and basis for proactive decision-making.
The University commended government’s approach to obtain financial support from the International Monetary Fund to stabilize the economy through prudent public financial management.
‘PUGS will continue to monitor the Public Financial Management System of the government and express its views in contributing to national development’ it added.
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