GRA: Tax payment is sacred national duty

The Upper East Regional Commander of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Chief Revenue Officer, Mr Samuel Owusu, has observed that payment of taxes was a sacred national duty for all Ghanaians to honour.

Mr Owusu, who made the observation at the end-of-year party for 2021 and awards ceremony organised by the Division for the staff and other collaborators in Bolgatanga of the Upper East Region on Saturday, expressed worry about the attitudes of some Ghanaian businessmen and foreign expatriates towards the payment of taxes.

The Chief Revenue Officer observed that this unhealthy practice undermined national development, and underscored the need for all stakeholders to collaborate with the Customs Division to realise its dreams of mobilising the needed resources for sustainable development.

“Our enforcement unit thrives on information to be effective in its operations and let me hasten to say that we will continue to rely greatly on you, our stakeholders, especially informants and the media for information since they have in the past assisted in this direction,” he stressed.

Out of the GH₵19,330,000 target set for the region in 2021, the Customs Division collected GH₵17,309,557.55, representing about 90 per cent and exceeding the GH₵12 million collected in 2020.

The Regional Commander revealed that the region had been allocated a target of GH₵22,960,000, adding “this I must say is a huge and daunting tax because most of the merchandise that use our corridors are zero rated but let us not be despaired and intimidated by the sheer size of the target.”  

Mr Owusu noted that apart from strengthening the operations of the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS) to facilitate trade, including processing and clearing of goods, the mapped out strategies had been advanced to ensure effective patrolling and monitoring.

“One of the strategies to be undertaken is vigorous tax education to change and shape the perception of society to taxation, and, therefore, see it as a sacred national duty. For obvious reasons, the rest of the strategies will be kept to our chest,” he added.

This, he said, would check revenue leakages and increase mobilisation, especially at the porous borders in the region.

A total of 15 officers received awards for sterling performance in contributing to revenue mobilisation in 2021 and were given citations.

The occasion was also used to award 15 staff of the Division who distinguished themselves in the performance of their duties.


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