Tax Justice Coalition, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has appealed to government and stakeholders in the tax sector to improve the tax payment system.
This, the coalition believes, will help government and the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to generate enough revenue to address the many challenges confronting the country.
Mr Awal Ahmed, the Convener of the Tax Justice Coalition, called for effective measures to be taken to deal with the difficulty that came with payment of taxes and also to tackle the evading of tax that was particularly common among the elite and multilateral companies.
Mr Ahmed who was speaking at a regional stakeholders’ sensitization forum on tax justice held in Bolgatanga, said an effective tax justice system had to meet certain criteria, including equity, certainty, convenience and efficiency.
Mr Ahmed, also the Executive Director of RISE Ghana, said it would make the payment of tax fair to all tax payers based on their income level and further ensure that the right amount to be paid as tax was known by the tax payer, as well as make the payment of tax easier, more convenient to the tax payer and the collection process more efficient.
Mr Ahmed said the country lost a lot of money through illegal activities and there was the need for urgent steps to be taken to help address the situation in order for government to generate enough revenue to tackle the developmental needs of the country.
Mr Fuseini Adongo, the Upper East Deputy Regional Minister, said several reforms had been undertaken to strengthen the tax system by merging the tax revenue agencies including the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Value Added Tax Service (VATS) and the Revenue Agencies Governing Board (RAGB) in accordance with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Act 2009, Act 791.
The various revenue agencies have done a lot of work such as the introduction of Tax stamps, Tax Identification Number (TIN) and the paperless system at ports among others, all aimed at increasing the revenue base of the country, so as to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Mr Adongo urged the media to create awareness on the need for every qualified tax payer to fulfil their constitutional obligation and also expose those who willfully evade, misappropriate or squander revenue accrued from taxes.