24.09.2004 Business & Finance

Minister says Tax Laws Must Be Enforced.

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Takoradi, Sept 24, GNA - Mr Joseph Buahin Aidoo, the Western Regional Minister, on Friday stressed the need for steps to be taken to widen the tax base to include all who are engaged in any income generating activity.

He said tax laws had been allowed to remain on papers for far too long and it was time serious efforts were made to enforce the laws. Mr Aidoo was speaking at a National Tax Education Campaign organised by the Federation Association and Unions of National Revenue Agencies (FAUNRA) at Takoradi on Friday.

He said the need to widen the tax net has become more pressing now than ever before because the government's annual budget statement and projections with a substantial aspect of it is dependent on donor inflows.

Mr Aidoo said when the donors decide not to honour their promises, all the government's beautiful plans and programmes meant to meet set targets get thrown out of gear and it becomes difficult for the government to implement its projects and programmes.

He suggested that Value Added Tax (VAT) National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and others should have an in-built self-enforcing and self-regulatory mechanism that would ensure that everybody would pay tax and every payment would be submitted effectively to the state.

Mr Aidoo proposed that the tax regimes should be accompanied with holding of biennial lottery where special tax receipts and tickets are issued on taxable transactions and the counterfoils run every six months in a lottery.

He said the introduction of the tax lottery would be enough incentive for customers to demand receipts and tickets and thus force goods and service providers to submit to the state moneys they collect in the name of tax.

Mr. Aidoo said in order to ensure that the country's tax laws are enforced FAUNRA should consider constant exchange of information among the three revenue agencies and potential traders.

He commended the management and staff of Internal Revenue Service (IRS), VAT and Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) for their hard work.

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