Mr George K O Amankwa-Boateng, Head of Medium Tax Office in Cape Coast, said it was an obligation of every eligible citizen to pay tax for national development and warned that it was a punishable offence to under-declare tax returns.
The tax expert said this at a Tax Education Seminar for a cross-section of taxpayers who were mostly entrepreneurs, academic institutions; wholesalers and retailers which sought to broaden engagement with stakeholders towards improved revenue mobilization in Cape Coast.
He indicated that the GRA had strengthened their strategies to block avenues of evading taxes and collection through a modernized system dubbed Total Revenue Integrated Processing System (TRIPS).
Mr Amankwa-Boateng urged the participants to register for the unique Tax identification Number (TIN) that will enable businesses to transact business with ease with uninterrupted quality services from GRA to grow their organizations.
The Revenue Administration Act enjoins every taxpayer to register for the TIN to enable them transact businesses, clear goods at the ports, file case in court, receive payment from controller Accountant General Department.
Mr James Aggrey, Head of Audit of the Medium Tax Office (MTO) who spoke on the VAT Flat Rate Scheme (VFRS) said the introduction of the three percent VFRS and the 17.5 per cent Value Added Tax had generated debate, but the GRA would continue to engage taxpayers for understanding and compliance.
According to him the three percent VFRS was introduced in 2007 for retailers and importers but its implementation date was July 01, 2017 for wholesalers who were not covered initially with a marginal rate of three percent charged on the value of goods supplied.
Mr Aggrey said manufacturers, service providers, retailers and wholesalers were not allowed to charge the three percent VAT.
He encouraged all taxpayers to honour their tax obligations to avoid paying interests and penalties or face court action, adding that persons or businesses who fail to meet the deadline were liable to pay interest on each month or part of a month for which any part of the tax is outstanding.
The Head of Audit for MTO admonished the participants to inculcate the habit of voluntarily filling their tax returns and keep proper records of their business transactions to enable them receive the needed direction and incentives for the Central Region
Mr Aggrey cited lack of logistics and incentives for employees, unwillingness to file tax returns, lack of compliance as some of the challenges confronting its work.
He called on taxpayers to see payment as a civic responsibility and desist from attacking revenue collection officers but constantly engage GRA to address their challenges.
Mr. Tony Yoofi Pokoo-Aikins, Chairman Central Regional Chamber of Commerce, thanked the GRA for the seminar and tasked the revenue agencies to foster partnership with local businesses thereby creating more understanding on the relevance of paying taxes.
Some participants also appealed to the GRA to target foreigners doing businesses locally but were not paying the required taxes.