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26.01.2005 Regional News

C/R garage operators appeal for reduction of new IRS tax rates

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Cape Coast, Jan. 26, GNA - The Central Region branch of the Ghana National Association of Garages (GNAG) on Wednesday appealed on the government facilitate the reduction of rates under the new tax stamp system introduced by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to enable all self-employed persons to patronise it.

Mr Asante Bodo, regional chairman of the association, said members could not afford the new rates, hence the new to reduce them to encourage many people to "pay promptly".

He made the call during the launch of the new tax stamp stickers, which indicate rates to be paid by various trade groups in the region at Cape Coast.

It was attended by members of various associations, such as drinking bar operators, electricians, dressmakers, co-operative 'susu' collectors and market women.

The new tax system, which is to be paid quarterly, has been categorised, for the various groups and trades associations, and the rates range between 50,000 cedis and 250,000 cedis.

Mr Bodo said it was unfortunate that taxpayers were not consulted before the new system was introduced, and urged the IRS to ensure that the anomaly is corrected.

In a speech read for him to launch the tax, Mr Isaac Edumadze, the acting Regional Minister, cautioned that the successful implementation of the tax stamp would depend on the extent of education for the informal sector.

He called on all operators in the informal sector to accept and regard the new approach to tax payment as a challenge and as their contribution to national development by paying on time, "before the law catches up with them".

He commended the management of IRS for coming out with such a novelty, which he said was a bold initiative at extending the tax net to cover all eligible taxpayers.

Mr Eben Osabutey, Assistant Commissioner of the IRS in the region, said the new system was introduced to find a lasting solution to the persistently low collection of tax from the self-employed.

He explained that in the past, the Service tried to rely on some identifiable occupational groups for the collection of taxes from their members, but that did not yield the desired results.

According to him, this was compounded by the fact that many of the taxpayers in the informal sector did not have fixed business locations, and this made their identification and assessment of their incomes difficult. 26 Jan. 05

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