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02.02.2005 Education

IRS urged to carry out massive education on new tax stamp

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Ho, Feb. 2, GNA- The Acting Volta Regional Minister, Mr Kwasi Owusu-Yeboa on Tuesday called on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), to carry out extensive education on the new Tax Stamp, which targets three million people in the informal sector.

He made the call during the regional launch of the new tax in Ho, which is an innovation by the IRS to collect taxes ranging from 50,000 cedis to 250,000 cedis for every quarter.

Mr Owusu-Yeboa said the country's ability to improve on internally generated revenue constituted the best way of avoiding the shocks that arise from donor fatigue to fund development projects.

The Assistant Commissioner of the IRS in charge of the Region, Mr Wheatley M. Adjavon, said only 191,000 people in the informal sector pay income tax, accounting for five per cent of the country's annual tax revenue as compared to the 1.2 million people in the formal sector who contribute 34 per cent to national revenue.

He expressed regret that the some people in the informal sector do not submit their returns, under-declare their incomes or open new tax files in a number of districts and end up pilling up tax arrears.

"You will agree with me that, if the tax net is widened to rope in more tax payers in the informal sector, businesses and employees in the informal sector will be relieved of heavy taxation," Mr Adjavon said. He said people to be covered by the new tax would be required to display them on their business premises or carry them along when travelling to do business.

Togbe Anikpi III, Chief Of Ho-Heve who chaired the function said the new tax constituted a challenge to the informal sector to contribute their quota, no matter how small, to national development. During an open forum, participants urged personnel of the IRS who would be collecting the taxes to approach their work professionally and carry out continuous education on the new tax. They admitted that they were often compelled to avoid tax collectors because of their hostile approach to duty. 02. Feb.05

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