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 on 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.
The National Coordinator of Tax Justice Coalition -Ghana, Mr Leonard Shang -Quartey said the Coalition’s aim was to promote tax equity, transparency and accountability for national development and poverty reduction in Ghana.
He said the forum was one of the many activities the coalition has undertaken to partner the government, Ghana Revenue Authority as well as involve citizens in decisions on tax policies.
Mr Shang said the forum was also organized to ensure there was improved tax compliance so that citizens would 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 be economically independent and control its economy.
Mr Isaac Ewool, the Assistant Revenue Officer in the Amenfi West Municipal Office of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) took the participants through the categories of taxpayers, duties and responsibilities of taxpayers and tax officials on taxation and the role of taxation in the national economy.
He indicated that taxes paid were used to provide amenities such portable water, roads, security, schools and other services, adding that every developed country depended much on payment of taxes to enhance development.
Mr Andrew De-Heer, Executive Director of Resource Foundation, said tax evasions and tax avoidance were high in the country and urged citizens to pay their taxes for the government to generate the required revenue for its development agenda.
Some participants mostly small scale business owners mentioned the lack of education on the various forms of taxes, Lack of accountability and transparency on the part of the state agencies, corruption, Inequalities in development and multiplicity of taxes imposed on their businesses as some of their challenges.