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Intensify Tax Education to boost compliance, revenue mobilisation-Stakeholders to GRA [GACC in the News]

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has been advised to intensify tax education to boost compliance and revenue mobilisation in the country.

The institution has also been asked to carry out the education through the various Ghanaian languages for all Ghanaian taxpayer to easily understand the message.

The advice was given by Stakeholders during a National Multi-Stakeholder Tax Dialogue organised by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) in Accra.

The event aimed at identifying issues constraining tax compliance in Ghana and to suggest concrete strategies to curb the challenges.

Some of the institutions present were the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Revenue Mobilisation Africa, GRA, Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ), Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors, Association of Small-Scale Industry and Chamber of Youth Entrepreneurs, amongst others.

Mr Geoffrey Ocansey, Executive Director for Revenue Mobilisation Africa said the Authority must endeavor to communicate to companies what exactly they paid for at what point in time, to further ensure that taxpayers understood what they were mandated to pay.

He said having an extensive communication agenda could clear out all complexities that hindered the ability of companies to be tax compliant.

Mr Ocansey said GRA’s previous fora revealed that they had Relationship Officers who helped companies with challenges they faced in paying their taxes.

He said meanwhile, these companies expected more from GRA in creating a connection with the companies to better appreciate the system of taxation.

Mr Ocansey urged the Government to be transparent and accountable for taxes collected to restore public confidence. “People must see and feel what their taxes are used for and that will motivate them to easily pay their taxes,” he said.

Mr Lloyd Evans, Former President for IFEJ, during the open forum session, said the GRA must consistently educate the public on taxation.

He said education on taxation should not be occasional but an everyday activity, to create awareness on the need for the people to pay their taxes and the appropriate channels they can use.

Mr Evans suggested that the GRA should have a whole Department that would concentrate on educating the public on various aspects of taxation.

“It is not enough to have a billboard asking the public to pay their taxes, but also to educate the public on what they do not know about the tax system,” he added.

He asked that GRA to find ways to monitor the night economy, thus businesses that operated late at night, to ensure that they honoured their tax obligations.

Mr Evans also suggested that “mystery customers” should be deployed into various institutions to fish out information regarding the payment of taxes by these companies.

Mr Clement Amankwah-Bonsu, Chief Revenue Officer at GRA, said that they were leveraging on the Information Communication and Technology to digitalise filing processes, running a cashless system and payment of taxes for the convenience of the taxpayer.

He said as part of measures to enhance tax compliance, the GRA had created a Prosecution Unit to prosecute taxpayers who failed to meet their tax paying obligations.

Mr Amankwah-Bonsu encouraged Ghanaians to offer any information they had on companies or individuals who were conducting business without paying taxes.

He said the Authority had instituted an Informant Awards Scheme to reward anyone who provided relevant information leading to the arrest of defaulters.

Source: https://www.gna.org.gh/1.21491599

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