Scaling Up Tax Education to Boost Compliance and Revenue Mobilization – GRA Stakeholders

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has been urged to scale up tax education to boost compliance and revenue mobilization in the country.

The institution has also been asked to provide education through the various Ghanaian languages ​​to make it easy for all Ghanaian taxpayers to understand the message.

The advice was given by stakeholders at a national multi-stakeholder tax dialogue organized by the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) in Accra.

The event aimed to identify the issues hampering tax compliance in Ghana and suggest concrete strategies to address the challenges.

Some of the institutions present were the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Revenue Mobilization Africa, GRA, Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ), Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors, Association of Small-Scale Industry and Chamber of Youth Entrepreneurs. , among others.

Mr. Geoffrey Ocansey, Executive Director of Revenue Mobilization Africa, said the Authority must work to communicate to businesses exactly what they have paid when, to ensure taxpayers understand what they are paying. are required to pay.

He said a broad communications program could remove all the complexities that hamper businesses’ ability to comply with tax rules.

Mr Ocansey said previous GRA forums had revealed they had relationship officers who helped companies with the challenges they faced in paying their taxes.

According to him, these companies expected more from GRA by creating a link with companies to better appreciate the taxation system.

Mr Ocansey urged the government to be transparent and accountable in the taxes collected in order to restore public confidence. “People need to see and feel what their taxes are for and that will motivate them to easily pay their taxes,” he said.

Mr. Lloyd Evans, Past President of the IFEJ, during the open forum session, said that the GRA must constantly educate the public on taxation.

He said tax education should not be casual but a daily activity, to raise awareness of the need for people to pay their taxes and the appropriate channels they can use.

Mr. Evans suggested that the GRA should have an entire department that would focus on educating the public on various aspects of taxation.

“It’s not enough to have a billboard asking the public to pay their taxes, but also to educate the public about what they don’t know about the tax system,” he added.

He asked that the GRA find ways to monitor the night economy, thus businesses that operated late at night, to ensure they were meeting their tax obligations.

Mr Evans also suggested that “mystery shoppers” be deployed to various institutions to extract information regarding the payment of taxes by these companies.

Mr. Clement Amankwah-Bonsu, Chief Revenue Officer of GRA, said they are leveraging communication and information technology to digitize deposit processes, run a cashless system and pay taxes for the taxpayer convenience.

He said that as part of measures to improve tax compliance, the GRA had established a prosecution unit to prosecute taxpayers who failed to comply with their tax obligations.

Mr. Amankwah-Bonsu encouraged Ghanaians to provide any information they had on companies or individuals doing business without paying taxes.

He said the Authority instituted an informant rewards program to reward anyone who provided relevant information leading to the arrest of defaulters.

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