- On November 20, 2018
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) launched a national campaign on October 24, 2018 to educate citizens on the need to pay taxes for national development. The tax campaign, called “Our Taxes Our Future,” is to be carried out by the National Commission for Civic Education, Information Services Department and the media.
The campaign launch comes two months after a report published by SEND Ghana called on the GRA to embark on tax education to improve revenue generation and enhance taxpayer satisfaction.
In May 2018, SEND Ghana’s Promoting Progressive Tax for Inclusive Development (PPTID) project conducted research to assess how progressive the prevailing tax system is and how it affects the socially excluded, youth in business start-ups, market women, Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty beneﬁciaries and artisans.
The research found that, apart from the general taxes, local government authorities also impose levies on marginalized groups for their participation in the market or place of business and trade. Members of marginalized groups surveyed strongly perceived the existing tax regime as unfair. The research also found that most of the marginalized in society are not paying taxes because they believe government does not involve them in the tax formulation process.
Following the launch of the research report, “Promoting Progressive Tax for Inclusive Development of All,” SEND Ghana met with GRA, the Ministry of Finance and parliament to deliberate on the findings and recommendations. As a result, the GRA, during its mid-year budget review, introduced three new taxes in line with SEND’s research recommendations to make the current regime more progressive.
Dr. Emmanuel Ayifah, deputy country director of SEND Ghana, commended the GRA for honoring its commitments.
“SEND Ghana commends the GRA for launching a national tax campaign to encourage Ghanaians, especially persons in the informal sector, to voluntarily honor their tax obligations to accelerate development in the country,” Ayifah said in a letter signed on behalf of SEND Ghana to the GRA. “This is in line with SEND Ghana’s course to promote equality in Ghana.”
In the letter, Ayifah encouraged the GRA to continue with the tax education to ensure more informal sector workers voluntarily pay their taxes.
“In applauding GRA we also urge that this national tax campaign launched would not be a one day thing, but, the sensitizations will continue until success is achieved with increasing numbers of informal workers contributing their quota into the national kitty for national development,” the letter continues. “In addition, appropriate policies should be instituted and implemented to widen the tax net.”
For more please visit the PPTID research report on the Publications section of SEND Ghana’s website.