• The ratio of only 2.4 million taxpayers out of an over 30 million population is not sustainable
• This is according to first deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Maxwell Afari
• He therefore called for a much simplified way of filing taxes to increase the tax net
Dr Maxwell Opoku Afari, first Deputy Governor of the central bank, has stressed that it is not sustainable for only 2.4 million taxpayers to carry the tax burden of an entire population of over 30 million.
According to him, should the trend continue, Ghana may not achieve its development targets with the low number of the taxpayers currently.
Speaking at a public lecture organised by the University of Ghana Business School, Dr Afari urged for a much simplified way for the filing of tax returns in order to expand the tax base.
“It beggars to believe that a country of over 30 million, and with over 16 million active MoMo users (an indication of economically active persons), there are only 2.4 million individual tax payers. Does this really show we have the capacity to deliver? It is not going to be possible to meet our developmental needs with such a tax base, especially when the love is gone and donor assistance has dried up,” the deputy BoG governor stressed.
“To broaden the tax base will call for getting more people to honor their tax obligations and minimization of tax exemptions. Business support incentives for tax compliance should be introduced to instill the discipline in all tax payers to honor their tax obligations,” Dr Afari pointed.
He, however, said the recently introduced Revenue Assurance and Compliance Enforcement (RACE) initiative if well implemented and enforced will enhance domestic revenue mobilization and anchor the needed social contract between the government and the citizens.