Only 1.5 million of six million Ghanaian taxpayers actually pay taxes
The Ghana Revenue Authority has therefore launched the second national tax campaign to deepen and sustain its education on the importance and benefits of tax payment.
The campaign on the slogan #OurTaxesOurFuture” is aimed at encouraging Ghanaians, especially the operators in the informal sector to voluntarily pay their tax.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, the Commissioner-General GRA, said the tax campaign was aimed at increasing awareness among Ghanaians on tax issues, enhance their understanding and appreciation of the importance of taxes and the benefits to national development.
He said the focus this year was on the informal sector because it was the largest in terms of operators, constituting about 70 percent of the national economy, but its contribution to revenue stood at about two percent.
“I believe we all recognise the fact that without the contributions of the citizenry in the form of tax payment, the good intentions of government will come to naught,” he said.
Mr Nti said the six-month long campaign would help to significantly change and affect peoples’ attitudes to greatly expand the tax net and improve voluntary compliance.
Mr Nti said the campaign was going to be a multifaceted one with the GRA collaborating with organisations such as the National Commission for Civic Education, the Information Services Department and the media to reach as many Ghanaians as possible.
He appealed for cooperation from Ghanaians and also to tax defaulters to settle outstanding tax liabilities, increase voluntary compliance in terms of tax payments and filing of returns and the provision of relevant information about unknown and hidden businesses.
“We believe that with the cooperation of the public, GRA will ultimately achieve a significant increase in revenue collection,” he said.
Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare charged the GRA to make payment easier for citizens to widen the tax net.
She said there was the urgent need to bridge the gap between the people who paid their taxes regularly and those outside the tax net.
“Currently as we speak, we have about six million people who are supposed to be on the tax net but we have only 1.5 million people paying taxes regularly and out of this the informal sector contributed 200,000 of the 1.5 million. This gap must be bridged at all cost so we must do everything possible to change this situation,” Ms Asare said.