It will be difficult for the government to mobilise tax revenue to undertake sustainable development projects if businesses in the country do not pay their corporate income tax, the Tax Advisor at the Ministry of Finance, Dr Larbi Siaw, has said.
He has, therefore, urged stakeholders to intensify their campaign and educate Ghanaians on the negative effect “tax dodging practices” could pose to the development of the economy.
Speaking at the launch of ActionAid’s Tax Justice Campaign in Accra yesterday, Dr Siaw said no government “takes delight in over taxing its citizens and businesses”.
The campaign, which is on the theme: “Progressive Tax, Progressive Spent”, is aimed at advocating a progressive taxation regime where those who earn more income pay more taxes in accordance with the benefits they enjoy.
Some of the stakeholders who are expected to work with ActionAid in the campaign include the Ghana Revenue Authority and the media.
Dr Siaw said the government planned to introduce tax education in schools to press home the need for citizens to recognise paying tax as a required obligation for national development.
He commended ActionAid for the initiative and urged them not to relent on their efforts until the desired impact, for which the campaign was launched, bore fruit.
In her welcoming address, the Country Director of ActionAid Ghana, Mrs Adwoa Kwateng-Kluvitse, said the government lost millions of cedis every year as a result of the failure of businesses to pay their required taxes.
She said the schemes some businesses used to avoid paying their share of taxes “are socially indefensible because they make it difficult for the government to provide the needed services for socio-economic development and poverty alleviation.
“It is against this backdrop that ActionAid is undertaking a global campaign to address the issue,” Mrs Kwateng-Kluvitse said.
She said without adequate tax revenue, the government would not be able to fulfil the fundamental human rights of the citizens, for which ActionAid stood to advocate.
Mrs Kwateng-Kluvitse, therefore, called on Ghanaians to join the tax justice campaign to hammer home the need to pay taxes.
Source: Daily Graphic