EOCO, GUTA partner to fight tax evasion

The Economic and OrganisedCrime Office (EOCO) will partner the Ghana Union of Trade Association (GUTA) to prevent tax evasion in the country, Commissioner of Police (COP) Maame Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, the Executive Director of EOCO, has stated.

She said taxation was crucial to help in ensuring the development of the country.

COP Addo-Danquah gave the assurance during an engagement with the executives of GUTA in Accra yesterday to discuss and educate the members on the need to pay taxes on their trading activities.

It was also to debunk views from members of GUTA that the EOCO was harassing them on tax issues.

The Executive Director stated that it was the mandate of EOCO to ensure taxes were paid to help generate revenue for the development of the country, adding that her outfit was not harassing the traders.

She urged members of GUTA to ensure they comply with their obligations by paying taxes in the country.

COP Addo-Danquahsaid EOCO works in collaboration with other state organisations including Ghana Revenue Authority, Police Service and the Narcotic Control Commission for investigation purposes.

She assured the members of GUTA that members of the union would be sensitised on the need to pay taxes in the country.

The first Vice Chairman of GUTA, MrClemenceBoateng, who led the GUTA delegation stated that they were excited to have established good relationship and had a fruitful meeting with EOCO.

He assured that with the relationship established, he was hopeful that they would be able to work together to bring in more success into the country.

The Greater Accra Regional Chairman of GUTA, Nana KwabenaPrepra, urged EOCO to ensure foreign traders in the country did not evade tax and ensure equality for all traders on taxation.

The Deputy Head of Legal and Prosecution of EOCO, Mr Leo Anthony Siamah,in a presentation on mandates of EOCO stated that there was the need to prevent and detect organised crime and facilitate the confiscation of proceed crime.

He said the functions of the office was to investigate, and on the authority of Attorney-General prosecute serious offences that involved tax fraud, money laundering and institutions in which the state had financial interest among others.

Mr Siamah said tax revenue represented a major source of income for the government in financing public services as well as stimulating economic growth of most developing countries.

 ‘It is estimated that tax revenue forms about 75 per cent of total revenue raised in Ghana,”he added.

He said tax evasion was an illegal means of escaping from the responsibility of payment of taxes.

Mr Siamah mentioned some of the reasons why people evaded taxes as high tax rates, low-income level, cumbersome tax laws and procedures, corruption of public officials and low level of education.

Members of the EOCO included Ms Aba Jacqueline Opoku, Deputy Executive Director Intelligence and Monitoring, Mr Edward Paditey, Special Assistant to the Executive Director, Ms Christiana Mensah,of the Accra Regional Office,Mrs Faustina Lartey Head of Public Affairs and Benjamin Yeboah Head of Welfare.

Some of the GUTA executives in attendance were Mr Joseph Paddy, Public Relations Officer, Hajia Muina Buari, Executive member, Mr Benjamin Yeboah, Head Welfare.

BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI

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