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More lawyers needed for effective tax administration - GRA Commissioner-General

BY: Justice Agbenorsi
Philip Mensah, a Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Ghana Revenue Authority, speaking at the RE-Akoto Memorial Lecture and launch of the 62nd Law Week of the School of Law. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo
Philip Mensah, a Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Ghana Revenue Authority, speaking at the RE-Akoto Memorial Lecture and launch of the 62nd Law Week of the School of Law. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo

The Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority ( GRA), Rev. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, has underscored the need for law students to venture into the practice of taxation law for an effective tax administration.

He said out of the numerous law firms in the country and the number of lawyers called to the Bar each year, only a few were into the practice of taxation.

He, therefore, urged law students to take advantage of the situation to take taxation very seriously in order to become tax lawyers when they were called to the Bar.

This was contained in a speech read on his behalf by a Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the GRA, Philip Mensah, at the RE—Akoto Memorial Lecture organised by the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the Ghana School of Law in Accra on April 5, 2022.

“We need a lot more of you to go into the practice of tax; when you look around, you can count the number of firms that specialise in taxation,” Rev. Owusu-Amoah said.

“That will help the tax administration to deliver its mandate effectively and also ensure that all taxpayers are given a fair deal when it comes to their engagement with the tax authority,” he added.

Lecture

The lecture, on the theme: “Constitutionalism: The case of Ghana”, formed part of the launch of the 62nd Law Week of the Ghana School of Law.

A Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Emmanuel Yonny Kulendi, in his delivery, said the practice of constitutionalism in the country must hold together the needs of the public.

“As a county, we must recognise the fact that constitutionalism does not merely exist from the size of our Parliament, the number of judges at the Supreme Court or the colour of our police uniform,” he said.

Additionally, he said, constitutionalism was not simply affirmed by the large number of lawyers intended to be called to the Bar, stressing: “We must watch closely the number, quality and purpose of everything we intend to undertake as a country.”

“What is the quality of our laws and the Constitution, and are there any limitations on official power and authority?” he queried, adding: “What is the quality of such limitations, and to what extent are these limitations deployed by citizens and upheld by appropriate institutions and persons, including the court.”

Rights

As a country, Justice Kulendi said, there was the need to understand that the protection of human rights was paramount.

“Judicial duty properly performed should not delude citizens’ hope and the optimism of the Republic in the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. Again, judicial duty should not be performed to negatise the realities of good governance in the state,” he said.