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11.03.2009 Business & Finance

Small-scale industries ask for tax collection unit

By gna

The Sekyere East District Association of Small Scale Industries (SEDASSI) in the Ashanti Region on Wednesday called on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to establish a tax collection office in the district to facilitate tax payment by workers, especially those in the informal sector.

Speaking at a meeting with officials of IRS in Accra to make a case for a tax collection office in the district, Mr Kwame Ampratwum, Secretary of SEDASSI, said this would address the challenges of travelling for long distances to pay taxes as well as help to increase the tax revenue of the district.

Mr Ampratwum said currently workers in the district travelled to other districts at an extra cost to their businesses in terms of transport fares, travelling risks and also loss of man hours.

He said tax collectors only visited the district quarterly and they failed to reach all tax payers resulting in arrears of unpaid taxes, adding that this sometimes led to harassment of workers that they had failed to honour their tax obligations.

Mr Ampratwum said establishing a tax collection office in the district would also enable the IRS officials to educate workers on the need to pay taxes and also help those who were willing to pay from travelling to far away places to do so.

Mr James Anaman, Assistant Commissioner in charge of Assessment at the IRS, assured members of the association that the Service would expedite action on their demand.

Mr Anaman said because of falling prices of commodities on the international market, the country was intensifying efforts to improve on tax collection.

SEDASSI, which is being sponsored by the Business Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC), comprises 11 artisan and business associations of about 800 members and receives technical assistance from Participatory Development Associates, a Kumasi-based development oriented organization.