Review tax system to increase revenue mobilization – Coalition

By
Anthony Apubeo, GNA

Bolgatanga, Nov 9,
GNA – The Upper East Regional Tax Justice Coalition (TJC), an advocacy
organization, has called on government to review the current tax system to
expand the tax net and collect more revenue for national development.

The Coalition said
taxation was the major source of funding for the country’s development
projects, however, about 90 per cent of the potential taxpayers were left out
of the tax net leading to low mobilization of resources for national
development.

This has therefore
compelled Ghana to depend on external aid to finance most of the country’s
projects including roads, schools, and hospitals among others.

The Coalition made
the call at a stakeholders’ meeting in Bolgatanga, organized by the Rural
Initiative for Self Empowerment Ghana (RISE-Ghana), a Non-Governmental
Organization with funding from Action Aid Ghana, another NGO.

The purpose of the
meeting was to build the capacities of Civil Society Organizations, NGOs and
business owners among other stakeholders to enable them engage in evidence
based tax justice advocacy and support local revenue mobilization efforts.

Mr Awal Ahmed
Kariama, the Executive Director of RISE-Ghana, said the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda
was achievable if measures were taken to expand the tax net to cover all
businesses and individuals who were supposed to pay tax and block all loopholes
in the collection and dispensation of the tax.

The Executive
Director urged the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to improve on tax filing and
payment systems particularly implementing an online system of payment to enable
taxpayers to easily and comfortably file and pay their tax.

Mr Kariama further
urged the Management of the GRA to intensify their tax compliance education to
enable taxpayers fully appreciate the need to sincerely honour their tax
obligations for sustainable national development.

He said corruption
was another major challenge that discouraged people from paying tax and urged
government to ensure that the various taxes collected were used judiciously for
the development and wellbeing of the people.

Mr Yussif Musah
Braimah, the Acting Manager, Bolgatanga Small Taxpayer Office of the Domestic
Tax Revenue Division of the GRA, who took the participants through the types of
taxes, said payment of tax was a law and a constitutional requirement.

He said article 41
of the 1992 Constitution enjoins every citizen particularly income earners to
honestly declare their incomes, file their returns and pay their tax to enable
government finance its budget.

The Acting Manager
underscored the need for public cooperation in the effective mobilization of
the tax and urged the public to volunteer information on individuals and
business owners who evade tax for appropriate action to be taken.

GNA

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