Time to widen tax net— Rev Agormeda

BY: Charles Benoni Okine
• Rev Emmanuel Agormeda — Passionate about Ghana’s economic rebound

The Head of the Royal House Chapel, Maryland Mission, United States of America (USA), Reverend Emmanuel Agormeda, has called on the authorities to widen the tax net to enable more people outside the tax bracket to honour their obligations to the state.

According to him, to solve the dire financial challenges of the state, there is the need to rake in the needed funds from all legitimate sources to cure the financial challenges facing the country.

Rev. Agormeda, who made the call in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra last Tuesday, said, “We need to put more people into the tax bracket because that is what is done in the USA and elsewhere and we can also do it”.

Against this background, he asked that the street naming exercise be intensified, while efforts to complete the national identification system is completed to make it easy for people to be traced and taxed accordingly. 

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Rev. Agormeda is in the country to take part in the upcoming youth conference of the church on the theme; “Born a Winner”.

“We need the people to contribute to national growth and they can be traced if the identification system works right,” he said, adding, “Once we have the revenue, we will be in a better stead to solve our problems”.

Until this year, tax revenues have fallen short of target because of the limited number of people, institutions and businesses that pay tax.

Revenue shortfalls

The country’s inability to rake in the needed domestic revenue from taxes has forced it to resort to heavy borrowing both internally and externally.

According to the Monetary Policy Committee (report) for May, 2015, for instance, the country’s total public sector debt stock of the country stood at GH¢88.2 billion at the end of March 2015, representing 65.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). 

Of the total public debt, domestic debt constituted 41.4 per cent and external debt 58.6 per cent. Much as the public debt is gradually reducing, Rev. Agormeda was of the view that raising internal revenue could help deal with the gaps. 

“So as I said, we must devote greater attention to the widening of the tax net to be able to raise more funds.”