The President of the Republic of Ghana- Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo has charged business professionals and lawyers in the country to honour their taxes. He told this at the 2021 Ghana Bar Conference in the Upper East Region. Taxes are important and they are the bedrock on which the development of the nation strives on. However, accountants, lawyers, doctors and other business professionals try as much as possible to evade tax to the detriment of the nation. This leaves only the ordinary low earning Ghanaians to pay more and more taxes.
Indeed, this statement is no news to Ghanaians. Some time ago, the Ghana Revenue Authority published that only a handful of Ghanaians pay taxes. Even some of their personnel from GRA try to help other businesses evade taxes or negotiate with businesses to pay less and bribe those GRA as well.
But this is the catch, many Ghanaians have come to understand that the taxes we pay don’t end up doing what the government promise to use them for. There has been constant misuse of monies by the government, thus, the big guys in the country who knows this knowledge would rather evade taxes and use the money for something else. Besides, what is the point in paying more when the money is constantly ending up in some people’s pockets?
There are many judgment debts to pay and the taxpayer’s money suffers. Even the current luxury jets the president uses for his incessant trips have come under much criticism but the President keeps using them. Again, there have been corruption allegations and many scandals that have to discourage the good people from paying more taxes.
Going forward, the president could exercise restraints on his sense of modality in spending the money from the public purse. Again, there should be proper measures to be taken to restore confidence from the ordinary Ghanaian. The GRA should also ensure they exercise some digitization in their collection of taxes. This will make paying taxes by business entities easy and less cumbersome.
In Ghana, sometimes you have to struggle to even find the GRA and pay your taxes. How can that even motivate the collection? There should be some proper collaboration between the Ghana Registrar and Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). When people register their businesses, there should be that opportunity for the GRA to attribute the right taxes to them and subsequently collect the taxes.
Above all, the government should make the room for people to enjoy their tax returns. In this country, it is almost impossible to enjoy that package.
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