Vice President Muhamudu Bawumia has urged Ghanaians to voluntarily file their annual tax return to enable government achieve government’s ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ agenda.
He has therefore directed the Ghana Revenue Authority, GRA to develop a mobile application for the filing of taxes by the end of April next year, to make the filing process more efficient and encourage more taxpayers to pay.
Launching the Tax and Good Governance Week in Accra, an initiative by the Finance Ministry and the GRA, Bawumia noted that the program is another step towards the fulfilling of the president’s vision.
“To be beyond aid is to strive to be self-financing as possible. It is an invitation to all Ghanaians to be part of this vision of building a self-financing and sustainable development agenda”, he said adding that
“All over the world, taxation is the main tool countries used to develop their economy and provide services to their people. Whatever the developed countries send to us as aid is from their ability to mobilize resources. As we embark on this journey of ‘Ghana beyond aid’ it is imperative for us to take rigorous and decisive steps to raise enough income taxes.”
Vice President Bawumia, together with a number of Ministers and Deputies who were at the launch, filed their tax returns at the GRA headquarters in Accra.
He has therefore directed all ministers of state, government appointees and public officials to also file their tax returns before April 30, which is the deadline for the filing of 2017 tax returns.
“During this programme, GRA will mount tax clinics at specific places to assist citizens with the filing of their tax returns as well as other tax related matters. The tax return forms have been modified to make it easier to fill. Arrangements are also being made to provide a more efficient electronic system for filing returns in the very near future,” he opined.
The Tax and Good Governance Week is geared towards encouraging filing of annual returns and ultimately increase the level of voluntary compliance among the tax paying public.
As part of efforts to enable it meet its 2018 revenue target of GHS 39.8 billion, the GRA has initiated various policies to improve voluntary compliance.
These include the Tax Amnesty, Electronic Point of Sale Device (EPOS), the Excise Tax Stamp and the roll out of the Total Revenue Integrated Processing System (TRIPS).
In his opening remarks, Commissioner-General of the GRA, Mr. Kofi Nti, urged employees to file their tax return by the end of April to avoid penalties.
He stated that “It is our expectation that this year the GRA will record an impressive increase in the number of taxpayers filing their returns, voluntarily complying and ultimately maximizing revenue for national development.”
By Nana Oye Ankrah