LET’S BE TAX COMPLIANT TO SUPPORT NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

As citizens, especially for those who earn income, we are required under the law to honour our tax obligation to the state, to contribute to resource mobilisation for national development.

Honouring one’s tax obligation has been a major challenge due to inefficiency in the tax administration system, giving rise to people who genuinely earn income to dodge the tax net, with the active connivance of some unscrupulous tax officers, thereby denying the state of the needed resources.

The Ghanaian Times is delighted at the reforms and initiatives being introduced to broaden the tax net to increase the revenue generation to finance development projects the country needs to improve the well being of the people.

We, particularly, appreciate the efforts at deepening public understanding of the Tax Identification Number (TIN) concept which are given to taxpayers to make them creditworthy, in accordance with the Revenue Administration Act (RAA), 2016, Act 915.

According to Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the TIN would broaden the tax net to capture all potential taxpayers and empower the revenue authorities to monitor transactions entered into by taxpayer.

From April 1, 2018 the TIN would be the major requirement for accessing essential services in the country, as well as entering into any transaction with the government.

This is a good move and we urge the GRA to sustain it with a vigorous public education campaign to get more taxpayers, especially those in the informal sector to honour their tax obligation by assigning them up to the TIN.

Having achieved lower income status, with its concomitant dwindling foreign aid, the burden is mounting on the country to improve domestic revenue mobilisation in order to finance the policies and programmes needed to complete our unfinished development agenda.

Indeed, the government’s efforts to increase domestic financial resource mobilisation must be backed by effective and fair tax collection system.

Often, the question on the lips of many Ghanaian is “what does the government use the tax for?” This question is normally posed when the public feel a sense of alienation in the provision of basic services.

We believe a reciprocally efficient and transparent use of the national kitty to provide basic social services like quality education, healthcare, potable drinking water, roads, affordable housing, among others would encourage income earners to be patriotic enough to honour their tax obligations.

Given our population at almost 30 million and with provision of entrepreneurial skills and job opportunities, more people would be gainfully employed to honour their moral and civic obligation to pay taxes.

We believe the act of paying tax requires leadership by example, so therefore, our tax administrators and policy makers must manage our tax resources well by avoiding profligacy in public expenditure and be more accountable to the citizenry.

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