By Blaise Agana, GNA
Bolgatanga, Oct. 26, GNA – Tax Justice
Coalition, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has appealed to government
and stakeholders in the tax sector to improve the tax payment system.
This, the coalition believes, will help
government and the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies
(MMDAs) to generate enough revenue to address the many challenges confronting
Mr Awal Ahmed, the Convener of the Tax Justice
Coalition, called for effective measures to be taken to deal with the difficulty
that came with payment of taxes and also to tackle the evading of tax that was
particularly common among the elite and multilateral companies.
Mr Ahmed who was speaking at a regional
stakeholders’ sensitization forum on tax justice held in Bolgatanga, said an
effective tax justice system had to meet certain criteria, including equity,
certainty, convenience and efficiency.
Mr Ahmed, also the Executive Director of RISE
Ghana, said it would make the payment of tax fair to all tax payers based on
their income level and further ensure that the right amount to be paid as tax
was known by the tax payer, as well as make the payment of tax easier, more
convenient to the tax payer and the collection process more efficient.
Mr Ahmed said the country lost a lot of money
through illegal activities and there was the need for urgent steps to be taken
to help address the situation in order for government to generate enough
revenue to tackle the developmental needs of the country.
Fuseini Adongo, the Upper East Deputy Regional Minister, said several reforms
had been undertaken to strengthen the tax system by merging the tax revenue
agencies including the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), the
Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Value Added Tax Service (VATS) and the
Revenue Agencies Governing Board (RAGB) in accordance with the Ghana Revenue
Authority (GRA) Act 2009, Act 791.
The various revenue agencies have done a lot
of work such as the introduction of Tax stamps, Tax Identification Number (TIN)
and the paperless system at ports among others, all aimed at increasing the
revenue base of the country, so as to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) by 2030.
Mr Adongo urged the media to create awareness
on the need for every qualified tax payer to fulfil their constitutional
obligation and also expose those who wilfully evade, misappropriate or squander
revenue accrued from taxes.