The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in the Northern Region has launched a Tax and Good Governance week programme to encourage filing of annual tax returns and to ultimately increase the level of voluntary compliance among the tax paying public.
The week-long programme is also to educate tax payers on their rights and responsibilities, the various tax policies and the need to honour all their tax obligations to the state.
Activities to be undertaken as part of the week-long programme include; media engagements, filing of annual tax returns by key personalities and all tax payers, setting up of tax clinics at vantage points, quiz competitions for selected tertiary institutions and sensitisation of selected basic schools.
Alhaji Harruna Sachibu, Northern Regional Head of the Domestic Tax Revenue Division of the GRA, who spoke during the launch of the programme in Tamale on Friday, encouraged the public to honour their civic responsibilities to the state by filing their annual tax returns.
Alhaji Sachibu emphasised that “In accordance with Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act 896), and the Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act 915), a person shall file his returns with the Commissioner General not later than four months after the year of assessment.”
He said that this year, GRA was mandated to collect a total of GH¢39.8 billion as tax revenue adding a number of tax compliance measures had been introduced to ensure increased voluntary compliance among tax payers to achieve the target.
They include; Tax Amnesty, Electronic Point of Sale Device (EPOS), the Excise Tax Stamp, withholding tax on Value Added Tax supplies and purchases by appointed agents, tax holiday for young entrepreneurs amongst others.
Mr Salifu Saeed, Northern Regional Minister expressed government’s intentions of creating prosperity and equal opportunities for all citizens through the various social intervention programmes.
Mr Saeed said “All over the world, taxation is a tool which countries rely on and use to mobilise revenue to develop their economies. As we move Ghana beyond Aid, it is imperative for us to be able to raise enough revenue domestically.”
Alhaji Abdul Razak Saani, Northern Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education urged all to pay tax to feel part of the nation and have the moral courage to demand transparency, and accountability in governance and all the development projects in their communities.