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Honour tax obligations voluntarily - Ghanaians urged

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr George Blankson, has appealed to all income-earning Ghanaians to cultivate the spirit of voluntarily honouring their tax obligations, as their way of contributing to nation building.

He said the GRA had fully accepted all the challenges that came with national revenue mobilisation and would continue to use the multi-channel approach to discourage resistance to tax payment.

“There is no doubt that the huge task of revenue mobilisation will be consistently less burdensome and much easier if taxpayers clearly understand why they should honour their tax obligations. For this to happen, however, taxpayers must be enlightened and educated on the tax laws and changes in them,” Mr Blankson said in Accra in a speech read on his behalf by the Commissioner of the Customs Division of the GRA, Major Carl Modey.

He said this when the Ghana Community Network Services Ltd (GCNet), an information technology solutions provider to government, presented 12 sets of public address (P.A.) systems to the Ghana Revenue Authority to aid it in its tax education programmes.

Although the GRA has been conducting tax education regularly, there is an overwhelming need to scale it up and diversify into various channels in view of the need to increase domestic tax mobilisation; which the GRA has indicated its preparedness to do this year.

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The modern P.A. system, valued at about $5,000, is therefore intended to assist the GRA in its efforts to make voluntary tax compliance less burdensome.

Mr Theo Quarcoo of GCNet presented the items, which were received on behalf of the Commissioner General by Major Carl Modey.

The PA systems will be mounted on pickups for direct street announcements. They come with advanced features such as USB ports that accept flash drives and two microphones, with others having the capacity to play videos directly from the system.

Major Modey, on behalf of the Commissioner General, thanked GCNet for the gesture, saying “I wish to assure the GCNet that the systems will be fully deployed immediately to achieve the purpose for which they are being presented.”

The GCNet, a business-to-government company that uses information and communications technology (ICT) solutions for the government and its agencies, is implementing an electronic government (e-Government) project which is automatic the GRA and the Registrar-General’s Department.

The project, christened ‘GeGov’, is a new business and taxpayer registration system that would improve data collection and ensure higher tax compliance.

The Head of GeGov Change Management Team, Mr Theo Quarcoo, said the presentation was part of the quest to improve taxpayer records, efficiency and effectiveness of tax administration in the country.

He added that the donation was also to ensure that the vast majority of local taxpayers “hear the message and come forward to participate in the data cleansing and re-registration exercises.”

Story by Samuel Doe Ablordeppey