Representatives of some corporate institutions and informal sector players in the Northern Region have attended a meeting to discuss ways of improving tax compliance and increasing domestic resource mobilisation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 17).
The meeting dubbed: “The Regional Tax Dialogue”, created a platform for engagement with the aim of improving corporate and individual tax compliance, promoting efficiency, modernising tax systems and improving accountability.
It was organised ias part of the Promoting Progressive Property Taxation and Tax Compliance in Ghana project, which is being implemented by the Revenue Mobilization Africa in partnership with the Ghana Anti-Corruption
Coalition, Private Enterprise Federation, OXFAM and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to improve revenue generation.
A critical target of the SDGs 17 is to ensure the financing and strengthening of domestic resource mobilisation, and improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection.
Participants shared their concerns about the country’s tax regime, and what should be done to ensure voluntary compliance to increase domestic resource mobilisation.
Mr Abass Abdul-Wahab, Chief Executive Officer of Candid Logistics, urged the GRA to move away from the prosecutorial approach in enforcing tax compliance to a more service-oriented approach to whip up interest among businesses to voluntarily pay their taxes.
Mr Amadu Samed Gaida, Managing Director of Gaida-com Group Limited, called for accountability in tax administration to enable the citizenry to know how much tax was collected and how it was spent to encourage them to willingly pay their taxes.
Others also called on the GRA to intensify public education on the various requirements and processes in honouring tax obligations to help address the frustrations that some businesses went through in their attempts to honour their tax obligations.
Mr George Yeboah, Assistant Revenue Officer at the Tamale Tax Service Center, GRA said the GRA was doing a lot, including the introduction of the taxpayers’ portal, to make it easy for entities to honour their tax obligations.
He assured stakeholders of the GRA’s readiness to undertake more public education to enhance understanding of its operations.
Mr Geoffrey Ocansey, Executive Director of Revenue Mobilization Africa, expressed appreciation to stakeholders for the frank discussions and expressed need for accountability for taxes paid to ensure increased compliance.
Revenue Mobilization Africa is a research and advocacy not-for-profit organisation that works to support effective revenue mobilisation and efficient resource governance.