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Tax Evaders In Trouble
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Ken Ofori Atta
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The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has indicated that it is time for the government to severely sanction any individual or organisation who evades tax in the country.

Mr Ofori-Atta has expressed deep worry about the sanctioning system in the country, adding that, “everyone should be responsible for his or her actions.”

Speaking at the launch of the National Tax Campaign in Accra, the Minister explained that the responsibility of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to mobilise funds for the development of the country could be manifested if the public show interest in protecting the public purse.

“The thing about our country is that even as we talk about sanctions and maybe I’ve done some action by which I have caught one or two people who are breaking the laws of taxes, it may be somebody from the priesthood or a chief who will come and see me to forgive the person.

“We kind of not being clear by acknowledging we need to begin sanctioning, and this is not being wicked,” he said.

According to him, tax invasion is a challenge to governance and urged Ghanaians to take the issue of tax seriously.

“When you compare it to the 80 pesewas per meal for school feeding which may be the one meal for that person in Kukurantumi or Kyebi for that day and somebody here is stealing GH¢10, 000.00, we should look at it as life and death,” he said.

He also urged foreigners in the country to respect its tax system and meet their responsibility of paying their taxes.

According to him, it is time to demand from the foreigners what is due the country, saying, “We need to directly talk to the Indians, Chinese and other foreigners that if this is where your livelihood is, then we have to demand an amount of response to use for the development of the country.”

Also speaking at the event, the Acting Commissioner-General, GRA, Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, disclosed that the contribution of the informal sector in generating revenue for the country is below 5%.

He added that the economy of the country is dominated by the informal sector, arguing that it creates a huge gap in revenue collection.

“While we at GRA see it as our responsibility to reach a lot of people, it is also an undeniable fact that all the citizens must come alive and perform their civic responsibilities.

“We must also be equally prepared to contribute to the national purse from which development projects are provided,” he said.

About the campaign

The National Tax Campaign is a clarion call for all citizens to honour their tax obligations for a brighter Ghana.

The campaign, which is on the theme ‘Our taxes, our future’, is to promote compliance and tax education among the citizenry, as well as to raise awareness of the benefits of taxation.

The campaign is under the GRA and supported by the National Commission for Civic Education, and the Information Services Department.

Source: Daily Heritage

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