The Western Regional Minister, Dr Kobby Okyere Darko-Mensah, has called on the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), to consciously educate the citizenry on Assets declaration and refund schemes embedded in the tax regime for accurate tax calculation and payments.
He said it was only when the individual declared his/her assets that the rightful revenue could be collected and where necessary, refunds to people who had paid in excess.
The Regional Minister said this civic responsibility if carefully and meticulously honoured could propel the development of the country and push the country beyond Aid.
Dr Darko-Mensah speaking at the second Tax and Good Governance week organised by the regional office of the GRA, said creating prosperity and equal opportunities for all citizens through social intervention programmes to engender growth was critical.
The theme for the celebration was “File Your Tax Returns, Pay Your Taxes, Move Ghana Beyond Aid”.
Filing of returns and payments of taxes is one key feature of the week-long activities, including radio and TV discussion as well as meeting with editors.
He said meeting the legitimate demand of the populace depended on enough revenue domestically in order to avoid stringent conditions attached to loans and grants from development partners.
The Regional Minister said, “over the years, revenue mobilization has not kept pace with the development of the country and thereby creating a deficit that is always met through borrowing”.
“I wish to therefore appeal to all persons earning income from employment, business and investment in this Region to be truthful to themselves, show patriotism and visit any office of the GRA to file the appropriate returns,” the Minister added.
Mr Francis Tallongo, Acting Head of Customs, said the income tax Act, 2015, Act 896, mandated all income earning persons to file returns for the previous year by April 30 in the current year.
He said the GRA had developed and introduced the Integrated Tax Application and Preparation System through which tax payers would conveniently file their personal income tax returns from the comfort of their homes and offices.
The system has nine modules including: Annual Tax Returns, Tax Clearance Certificate, Withholding Tax Credit Certificate, Withholding Tax Exemptions, VAT Withholding Tax Credit Certificate, Monthly and Annual PAYE Returns among others.
He said the full sanctions on failure to file returns on due dates would be applied on defaulting taxpayers.
“The GRA will also go all out to identify, locate and bring into the net persons earning income but have refused to honour their civic responsibility “.