Business News of Tuesday, 19 December 2017
The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has appealed to citizens to make payment of their taxes a regular habit to hold government accountable in the application of their taxes.
“It is only when we pay our taxes as citizens that we can have the moral justification to hold government and other authorities accountable”, the Commission emphasized.
It noted that apart from borrowing, governments’ principal source of revenue was through taxes, meaning citizens everywhere paid their taxes to build their nations, and hence a citizen that paid his or her tax was therefore a nation builder.
Mr. John Yibile, the NCCE Sissala East District Director made the appeal on the occasion of a district wide tax compliance campaign at Bandei community in the Sissala East District of the Upper West Region.
He said developed countries such as America, Germany and Britain among others were where they were now because their citizens honoured their tax obligations.
The NCCE Sissala East District Director noted however that the right to tax citizens came with an obligation to be honest, transparent and accountable, and called on the government especially District Assemblies to make it a duty to hold dishonest revenue collectors answerable for any financial malfeasance.
“The roads we travel on, the schools our children attend, the hospitals we go to when we are sick, the maintenance of law and order and general security and several other things are done with the taxes we pay”, he pointed out to the people.
He noted that the regular and more citizens paid their taxes, the more prosperous and better would be their collective future, hence the theme for the compliance campaign “Our taxes, our future”.
“Every citizen has the right to security, education, health, to potable water and the rest but we equally have the duty and responsibility to pay our taxes”, he said.
“Chapter six (6) Article 41, paragraph (j) of the 1992 constitution for instance enjoins citizens as a civic responsibility to declare their income honestly to the appropriate lawful agency – the Ghana Revenue Authority and to satisfy their tax obligation”, he added.
Mr. Yibile therefore noted that payment of taxes was not only a civic duty but it was backed by law and that failure or refusal to meet ones tax obligation attracted a fine, imprisonment or both.
He said activities carried out by the Commission in the district to enable citizens honour their tax obligation included dawn and dusk broadcast, visit to faith based organizations, identifiable groups and radio discussions.