Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, Upper West Regional Minister has appealed to management of the

Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to put in checks and balances that will stop some

recalcitrant staff from colluding with clients to evade payment of

taxes.

GRAHe said there were reported cases of some staff of the GRA

colluding with clients to evade tax through various mechanisms

including under-invoicing at the expense of the government.

Alhaji Sulemana who was speaking during a day?s tax education

programme organised by the GRA in Wa cautioned, ?This attitude must

stop if they want to gain public confidence in the tax collection

system?.

The Regional Minister said the development of the country hinges

greatly on a vibrant and purposeful tax system, noting however that

many people in Ghana always failed to file their tax returns

annually resulting in tax underpayment.

He said some people paid taxes but enjoyed other services from the

government which would require them to pay additional tax if they

filed their tax returns at the end of the year to GRA.

?Many of us do not pay the right tax; if we file our taxes annually

and it is required we pay additional taxes on other benefits we

enjoy, most of us will live very organized lifestyles?, he noted.

The Regional Minister said personally, he had filed tax returns for

2014 and had to pay more than4,000 Ghana cedi as additional tax to

the GRA.

Alhaji Sulemani noted that as the country strived to improve its

middle income status, it was imperative to develop an integrated

and modernised tax system which would actualize the national

vision.

He pointed out that the GRA had reached a very critical stage where

it was working to transform and modernize its operations to achieve

the needed revenue targets.

The Regional Minister noted, however, that the time, resources,

commitment and sacrifice needed to achieve that goal were enormous

but limited, hence the need for the public to support the Authority

to carefully strategise and judiciously use all available resources

at its disposal to achieve the nation?s developmental goals.

Alhaji Sulemana suggested to the Authority to make clear and simple

tax laws, provide reliable services to tax payers, assist tax

payers to understand and meet their tax obligations and, above all,

provide feedback on tax uses to ensure optimal revenue collection

and maximum voluntary tax compliance.

Mr. Ebenezer Mensah, Chief Revenue Officer and Head of Small Tax

Office in Wa, said taxation was the life blood of every nation and

that no nation or government could survive without taxes.

He noted that if the needed amount of taxes should be mobilised,

the taxpayers or taxpaying public must be educated on the

importance of taxation, to increase their level of compliance.

Mr. Mensah hinted that one of the strategies adopted by modern tax

administrators to improve and encourage voluntary tax compliance

was public tax education and awareness.

The Head of Small Tax Office said education of taxpayers had been

carried out over the years through the mass media explaining the

requirements of the laws. He added, ?This time round the Authority

has adopted the face-to-face method of education to ensure more

understanding and compliance?.

He appealed to participants to be more interactive through asking

questions and sharing of ideas to increase their understanding and

sense of responsibility, as well as moral obligation towards tax

payment.
Source : GNA/newsghana.com.gh

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