The Upper East Regional command of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has held its second quarter public tax education forum for selected stakeholders in Bolgatanga under the theme, “Taxation; Key to Ghana’s Economic Growth”.

The Acting Upper East Sector Commander of Customs Mr Francis Tanlongo, disclosed that the Bolgatanga Collection of the GRA Customs Division has been assigned a target of 9,900,000.00 Ghana Cedis for the year 2017.

He said although the target was high, his outfit was poised to do everything possible to rake in the said revenue by the close of the year.

He said the forum was important since it would help the Division to assert its strengths and weaknesses as well as make amends and institute new measures to ensure optimal revenue mobilization for national development.

He said his outfit would periodically organize such interface meeting with stakeholders to expose to the public some of the activities of Customs such as systems and procedures of honouring tax obligations and payment of duties on specified goods and other merchandise that one may want to export or import.

Mr Tanlongo observed that Ghana as a middle income country had to rely on its own internal resources and capital markets to fund its development agenda.

He added that “public expenditures on all sectors including education, health, agriculture, sports, industry and other infrastructure are all financed hugely from tax revenues collected in a given year”.

“Taxation therefore plays a central role in government’s efforts towards economic growth and it is only an effective tax education campaign and collaboration among all stakeholders such as Customs and its sister agencies of state as well as the business community and the public that will improve revenue mobilization for the state to be able to finance such sectors,” Mr Tanlongo said.

The Customs Commander stated that Customs Operations were governed by the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, the GRA Act 791 of 2009, the Customs Act, 2015 (Act 891) as well as Customs Regulations, 1976 (LI 1060) and charged all members of the public whose cars and motorbikes had not yet been registered to quickly do so, warning “my outfit will soon embark on operations to impound such vehicles and motorbikes”.

Mr Samuel Arthur, the Revenue Assistant III, who is also the Upper East Regional Focal Person of the GRA Customs Division, in his presentation on Temporary Vehicle Importation [TVI] disclosed that, an individual who intends to apply for TVI must undertake not to sell the vehicle, lease it or engage in any commercial activity using the vehicle in question within the visiting country, must not change the nature and form of the vehicle without approval of Customs and must also not divert the vehicle by changing the number plate.

He also advised the public and business entities to feel free and visit the Customs offices any time to check with designated desk officers about the duties and taxes payable on specific goods or merchandise before exporting or importing to avoid being stranded in the process.

The stakeholders at the education forum included officers from the Ghana Police and the Immigration Services, the Ghana National Fire Service, staff from the Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Standards Authority and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the public.

Source: GNA/Newsghana.com.gh