Calls On Ghanaians To Embrace The Culture Of Tax Payment
Throughout the world, various countries depend on taxation whether directly or indirectly to raise money for developmental purposes. Countries that are able to do this effectively promote socio-economic development to high levels to the satisfaction of their citizens. Infrastructural development such as the construction of roads, bridges and the building of hospitals, schools and expansion of electricity and water supply systems become real due to effective taxation systems. It is in the light of this that the current campaign by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to sensitise Ghanaians on the need to register for their Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) is seen as a positive step which is also aimed at helping the country to be self-reliant in many respects. A tax payer identification number (Tin) is an identification number used by the tax agencies in their administration of tax laws. It can be used by the social security administration or by the internal revenue service. If Ghanaians commit themselves to the culture of payment of taxes, enough revenue can be raised to develop the country in that respect without having to depend on other countries for assistance. Countries which offer assistance to Ghana and needy countries are able to do so because of their respective effective taxation systems that give them enough revenue for their own internal national development and overseas development. If Ghana is to move beyond aid and to depend on its own resources, then the issue of taxation ought to be taken seriously.
The building of drainage systems for flood prone areas as well as the construction of roads and health facilities can all be possible if enough money is raised through taxation to satisfy the needs and aspirations of the people in these respects. On the basis of this, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and all agencies operating under it will have to work hard enough to ensure that people are encouraged to pay their taxes as required by law, since without taxation socio-economic development will be far-fetched and become a mirage.
It is equally important for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to intensify its education on the tax identification number as a way of roping in more people to contribute to the national kitty. Furthermore, the tax authorities should make tax payment locations easily accessible to people, so as to encourage them to carry out this noble national duty.
All Ghanaians must be prepared to pay their tax as a way of looking forward to more developmental programmes in the country. Within this context, Ghanaians must be prepared to create and share, that is, to contribute through taxation for more development for everyone in the country. Through taxation, the state of Ghana can raise money for medical care for our children and pregnant women, the under privileged and also to ensure that quality life is made available for the people. If about six million people are taxable in Ghana but only one and half million people pay their taxes, then we need to work extra hard to ensure that more people are brought in to contribute their quota through taxation for national development. This is the only way to push Ghana’s development agenda forward and be able to improve upon the welfare of every person in the country.
BY: DR. KOFI AMPONSAH-BEDIAKO, DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, GHANA STANDARDS AUTHORITY.