The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Eric Kwakye Darfour has called on eligible tax payers in the region to show patriotism by filing their income tax returns for last year by the end of this month to avoid the payment of interest and penalties.
According to him, such payments would enable the government to gather enough funds to meet its legitimate demands of the populace.
“It is imperative for us to contribute and raise enough revenue domestically to avoid the stringent conditionalities attached to loans and grants from our development partners,” he said.
Mr Kwakye Darfour made the call during the regional launch of this year’s Tax and Good Governance Week Programme organised by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) with support from the Ministry of Finance in Koforidua last Tuesday.
The programme on the theme: “File Your Tax Returns, Pay Your Taxes, Move Ghana Beyond Aid” was meant to educate tax payers on the importance of filing of tax returns and payment of taxes and the benefits they stand to gain from the filing of their tax returns.
The Eastern Regional Minister noted that over the years, revenue mobilisation in the country had not kept pace with the ever growing demands of citizens for development projects and better services from government.
“Thus, always creating deficits that must be met through borrowing or through support from donor partners,” he added.
He said “we must however remember that due to our status as lower middle income country, concessional loans and support from development partners have reduced considerably creating the necessity to rely on domestic resources.”
The Regional Minister lauded the GRA for developing the Integrated Tax Application and Preparation System (iTaPS) to enable taxpayers to file their returns electronically, adding, it would help save time and would be convenient for all taxpayers.
For his part, the Assistant Commissioner-General of the GRA, Mr Yaw Aseidu Danquah stated that per the Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act 896) all income earning persons were mandated to file their returns for previous years by April 30 this year hence the need for all tax payers to fulfill their obligation.
“GRA is set to go all out to meet the 2019 revenue target and for this reason I wish to assure the public that the full application of sanctions for failure to file annual returns on due dates would be applied on defaulting tax payers,” he added.
From Ama Tekyiwaa Ampadu Agyeman, Koforidua