The Tax Justice Coalition – Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has held a public forum at Sefwi Wiawso to educate stakeholders on the significance of tax compliance and citizen’s responsibility in developing the country.
It was on the theme: “Addressing Policy Challenges and Regulatory Loopholes to Improve Tax Compliance in Ghana.
The forum forms part of the Ghana Tax Dialogue Project undertaken by the Coalition with support from Oxfam-Ghana, to promote tax equity, transparency and accountability for national development and poverty reduction.
Mr Leonard Shang-Quartey, the National Coordinator of Tax Justice Coalition-Ghana, said the forum was one of the NGO’s numerous activities to partner the Government and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to sensitise the citizens on tax policies.
He said the Tax Justice Coalition organised the forum to know citizen’s challenges and how they could be resolved to improve tax compliance.
Dr Alex Ampaabeng, the Fiscal Policy Specialist with OXFAM, said sustained domestic revenue mobilisation would help finance development projects and ensure self-reliant and vibrant economy for prosperity.
Mr Isaac Ewool, the Assistant Revenue Officer, Amenfi West Municipal Office of the GRA, who schooled participants on the categories of tax payers and their duties and responsibilities, as well as the role of taxation for the economy, said tax revenue was used to provide potable water, roads, security, schools and other services.
“Every developed country depends much on payment of taxes. Therefore, we need to pay our taxes to help build the nation,” he said.
Mr Andrew De-Heer, the Executive Director of Resource Foundation, said tax evasions and avoidance were high in the country and urged the citizens to pay their taxes for the Government to generate the required revenue for development.
Some of the participants, mostly small scale business owners, mentioned 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.