Effective Tax collection is very crucial as it generates revenue for the smooth and rapid administration of every country.
Unfortunately, due to poor tax education, ineffective tax laws ignorance and corruption, Ghana loses a lot of revenue for her development.
It is against this backdrop that the Upper East Regional Tax Justice Coalition (TJC), an advocacy Organization has called on government to take steps to review the current tax system to expand the tax net to rake more revenue for national development.
The Coalition said taxation was the major source of funding for the country’s development projects, however, about 90 percent of the potential taxpayers were left out of the tax net leading to low mobilization of resources for national development.
This has therefore compelled the Ghana to depend on external aid to finance most of the country’s project including roads, schools, hospitals and social amenities among others.
The Coalition made the called during a stakeholder workshop in Bolgatanga, organized the Rural Initiative for Self-Empowerment Ghana (RISE-Ghana), a Non-Governmental Organization ((NGO) with funding from Action Aid Ghana, another NGO.
The aim of the workshop was to build the capacities of Civil Society Organizations, NGOs, business owners, media among other stakeholders to enable them engage in evidence based tax justice advocacy and support local revenue mobilization efforts.
It was under the themes, “addressing policy challenges and regulatory loopholes to improve tax compliance in Ghana: what role can state and non-state actors play and “taxation: taxpayer’s role and responsibilities and the need to for compliance”.
The workshop brought together, representatives Civil Society Organization, Government Agencies and Departments, the media and market women.
Speaking to Radio Ghana, the Executive Director of Rise Ghana a Non-Governmental Organization, Awal Ahmed Kariyamah and a member of the Tax Justice Coalition (TJC), explained that, the coalition is made up of different civil society groups, media and other informal actors group who are concern about the fact that the tax system needs to be fair and just, so that the more taxes collected are responsive to the the needs of the people and based on their income levels.
Mr. Ahmed stated further that, the aim of the workshop was to dialog with all the stakeholders and GRA to see how best they can support government to be able to mobilized the necessary revenue as well as how government can have equitable and just tax system, so that the collection and processing should not be a burden to the tax-payer.
He indicated that the coalition is looking at about 70 percent of Ghana’s educational needs are going to be supported by sourcing for external funding (borrowing), the same is talked off in our health sector.
These external borrowing come with conditions and is such huge a debt to be borne by generation yet unborn.
Mr. Ahmed emphasized that if the tax system is well handled, it will rake enough revenue to achieve the much talked about of the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
The Acting Office Manager of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) of the Domestic Tax Revenue Division, Bolga Small Tax-payer Office Mr. Yussif Musah Braimah took participants through the establishment of GRA indicated that, the Tax Act, Act (791) of 2009, mandate every Ghanaian of his or her tax obligation to pay as such and in default sanctions can be applied under the Revenue Administrative Act of 2016, Act (915) Mr. Braimah schooled participants on the role of GRA, divisions of the tax system, the various types of taxes that exist, their rates and mode of payments.
He advised that every Ghanaian to demand for a receipt of any taxable item purchased in order to help mobilized revenue for the nation building.
Story filed by Emmanuel Akayeti