The Upper West Regional Commander, Customs Division of the Ghana Ravenue Authority (GRA), Henry Atampugbire, has urged the general public to voluntarily file their tax returns regularly without cohesion.
He said taxes were the major source of revenue for government to implement its development initiatives including construction of roads, hospitals, schools among others to help improve the living standards of the people.
Mr. Atampugberi was speaking at a tax education forum organised by the Ghana Revenue authority (GRA) in Wa which brought together heads of department as well as Civil Society organisations among others.
It was aimed at sensitising the people to the need for them to voluntarily fulfil their tax obligation and added that “achieving the Ghana beyond aid agenda will not be materialised without taxes”.
Mr. Atampugbire explained that the general public was reluctant in fulfilling their tax obligations and noted that government had introduced several initiatives including the Tax Identification Number (TIN) and the Ghana Excise Tax Stamp to encourage the people to voluntarily pay their taxes.
He further explained that the Excise Stamp was safe guard public health.
“The Excise Stamp is to indicate that this product is genuine, it is on goods manufactured locally, for instance the alcoholic beverages and similar goods imported.
But we realise that a lot of them coming in have been smuggled, so when we see that your goods have not got, it means that you haven’t paid excise tax or it is smuggled”, Mr. Atampugbire said.
For his part, the Acting Assistant Commissioner, Wa Domestic Tax Revenue Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, (GRA), Ebenezer Mensah explained that it was necessary for the tax payers to be educated on the need for them to voluntarily comply with their tax obligations.
He said the GRA was guided by the principle of transparent, fair and efficient mobilisation of revenue for the development of the country.
Mr. Mensah therefore expressed optimism that the public would adhere to voluntary tax compliance to file their tax returns regularly for the betterment of all.