Mr. Adogla Bessah, Assistant Commissioner at the Takoradi Medium Tax Office of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has therefore, urged the media to partner with the Authority to educate the public on the need to pay their taxes to the State.
He expressed concern that 80 per cent of businesses and people in the informal sector of the economy were not paying taxes due to lack of historical database to track them and said as a developing country there was the need to identify and develop computerized database to capture the informal sector.
Mr. Bessah made the statement at a press soiree organized for selected journalists in Takoradi on Tuesday, aimed at enhancing the relationship between the GRA and the media to promote tax payment among the citizenry.
He said honouring tax obligations would help to mobilize sufficient revenue for the national kitty to accelerate national development.
But, he said, evading tax was socially unacceptable and a crime against the state.
“This is tantamount to someone who had dipped the hands into the national kitty for his or her selfish and parochial interest,” he explained.
He noted that few people and businesses were paying taxes to the state due to the current economic environment, therefore, the GRA undertook a lot of tax education drive across the Region this year to rope more people on board.
He urged the media to cross-check information on alleged tax fraud with the Authority and familiarize themselves with tax laws and regulations in order not to mislead the public.
Mr. Peter Ben Baah, Assistant Commissioner at the Takoradi Small Tax Office of the GRA, said tax education was a shared and collective responsibility of the entire citizenry, and said the little contributions of the citizenry would help mobilize sufficient revenue for the country.
Reacting to the activities of “Black Market” operators in the forex trade he said although such operations did not fall under the ambit of the GRA, it was inimical to the operation of forex bureaux and entreated the security agencies to clamp down on such illegal activities
On rent income tax payment, he said, though the established real estate developers that had rented out their facilities pay their rent taxes on regular basis to the GRA, it was difficult tracking individuals that rented their houses and property and, therefore, pledged to collaborate with the Rent Control Department to collect rent income tax in the coming year.