NETRIGHT train journalists on taxation, Illicit Financial Flows
Participants in the workshop

NETRIGHT train journalists on taxation, Illicit Financial Flows

25 journalists across the country have received training on taxation, Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) and domestic resource mobilisation.


The two-day training workshop was organised by the Network for Women’s Rights in Ghana (NETRIGHT) on the theme: “Empowering Voices for Equitable Taxation: Building a Generation of Tax Justice Champions.”

It formed part of a three-year project titled Scaling Up Tax Justice III (SCUT III) implemented in collaboration with the Tax Justice Network Africa (TINA).

The TINA-initiated project is an Africa regional-level tax justice campaign being implemented in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Liberia, Senegal, Cameroun, and Tunisia. 

The participants were taken through topics such as public taxation, the IFFs legal regulatory framework, trends and challenges and how IFFs undermine do¬mestic revenue mobilisation and fact-checking of stories.

Speaking at the workshop in Accra, the Head of Secretariat of NETRIGHT, Patricia Blankson Akpakpo, said the key objective of SCUT III was to strengthen the capacity of journalists, to publish stories on tax justice, domestic revenue mobilisation and IFFS.

She explained that the workshop was to empower journalists with the knowledge and expertise required to effectively uncover hidden financial practices, and expose tax evasion.

“We want to empower journalists to write tax and domestic revenue mobilisation stories from a gender perspective and create space for the voices of women to be heard in such stories,” she said.

Mrs Akpakpo added that the workshop was also to strengthen partnerships and collaboration between journalists, civil society organisations (CSOs) working in the field of financial transparency and governance.

Illicit Financial Flows

In his presentation on the topic “State of Play of IFFs in Africa – A Tax Perspective,” a policy officer, in charge of Tax and Equity of the Tax Justice Network Africa (TJNA), an international fair tax advocacy non-governmental organisation (NGO), Ishmael Zulu, said Ghana is estimated to lose $1.4 billion annually through Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs).

He said such unlawful transfer of funds was depriving the country of the necessary financial resources.

The funds, he said, were transferred to the developed economies and tax havens such as Mauritius, Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands.

He said IFFs were executed through commercial activities, which constituted 65 per cent of IFFs, criminal activities, which constituted 30 per cent and corruption accounting for five per cent.

He said commercial activities which constituted the bulk of IFFs: “Arise from business-related activities deliberately planned with a goal to, among others, hide wealth, evade or aggressively avoid tax, and dodging customs duties and domestic levies,” through trade mispricing , base erosion and profit shifting, tax exemptions and mis-invoicing of services intangibles.

He therefore advised journalists in Ghana and Africa to step up their investigative reporting, to help uncover IFFs, to raise revenue for the development of Ghana and Africa.

Tax evasion 

For her part, a Tax Policy Officer of TJNA, Evelyn Muedo, explained that multinational and corporate organisations employed price transfer methods to avoid paying tax in developing countries.

She said multinational and corporate organisations took advantage of the relationship between them and their partners and associates in Africa, to inflate or reduce prices of goods produced for their associates or partners to avoid tax payment.

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