The first Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu has charged citizens to expose others who evade tax.According to him, the action of such tax evaders amounts to wrecking the nation as it denies the country the much-needed revenue to develop.
Speaking at the programme for journalists on taxation in Prampram, the Bekwai MP entreated citizens to pay taxes regularly.
“We should know as a people that taxes are the means by which we build a nation. Talk about unemployment, talk about resources to invest in areas to generate jobs. Talk about infrastructure. We are talking about resources to build the roads we want and therefore it is the responsibility of every Ghanaian to pay his or her tax and point out those who are not paying and ensure that they pay.”
Ghana loses 2.1 billion dollars to tax evasion annually
A 2016 report by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), a civil society organisation revealed that Ghana loses nearly 2.1 billion dollars to tax evasion and incentives annually.
According to the study, which was conducted on behalf of the National Coordinating Council of the Public Services International (PSI), there was the loss of revenue in excess of $4.9 billion from 1970 and 2008, as a result of the tax evasions by corporate groups, individuals, multinationals and other organisations operating in the country.
Such entities, according to the report, either dodge or evade taxes and under declare their incomes or engage in illicit trade, which affects the tax net, leading to the running down of the national revenue.
In a bid to address tax evasion, parliament recently indicated that it was considering the passage of another law to track revenue of business owners who operate both in and out of Ghana.
The Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information Law will allow the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to request for tax information on the operations of such business that happen outside Ghana.
The Tax Identification Number (TIN) which was introduced in April 2018 is also expected to broaden the country’s revenue to help increase developmental projects in the country.
By: Marian Ansah/citinewsroom.com/Ghana