The Tax Justice Coalition – Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has held a public forum in Sefwi Wiawso to educate stakeholders on the significance of tax compliance and the responsibility of citizens in developing the country.
The forum held under the theme: “Addressing policy challenges and regulatory loopholes to improve tax compliance in Ghana,” was part of the Ghana Tax Dialogue project undertaken by the Coalition with support from Oxfam-Ghana.
Mr Leonard Shang -Quartey, the National Coordinator of Tax Justice Coalition -Ghana, said the Coalition’s aim was to promote tax equity, transparency and accountability for national development and poverty reduction in the country.
He said the forum is one of the many activities they have undertaken to partner government and Ghana Revenue Authority on decisions concerning tax policies.
Mr Shang said the TJC organized the forum to ensure there is an improved compliance for citizens to pay taxes, know their challenges and how it could be resolved.
Dr Alex Ampaabeng, Fiscal Policy Specialist with OXFAM, said sustained domestic revenue mobilisation would help finance development projects and also help the country to secure control its economy.
Mr Isaac Ewool, the Assistant Revenue Officer in the Amenfi West Municipal Office of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), who schooled participants on the categories of tax payers, duties and responsibilities of tax payers and tax officials on taxation amongst others, said tax revenue is used to provide portable water, roads, security, schools and other requisite services.
He said every developed country depends on the payment of taxes, we need to pay our taxes to help build the nation.
Mr Andrew De-Heer, Executive Director of Resource Foundation, said tax evasions and tax avoidance are high in the country and urged citizens to pay their taxes for government to generate the revenue required for its development agenda.
Some participants mostly small-scale business owners said the lack of education on various forms of taxes, lack of accountability and transparency on the part of the state, corruption, inequalities in development and multiplicity of taxes imposed on their businesses as some of the common challenges.