“Mostly, the approach adopted by Ghana is predominately on enforced compliance and the problem with that is that, you end up spending more money because it is expensive. You consistently have to send GRA staff to monitor if people are paying and others to be on the watch. It cost a lot. I’m not saying it is bad…. We must make sure our approaches are very supportive. There should be extensive tax education,” he said.
A fiscal policy specialist with Oxfam, Dr. Alex Ampaabeng emphasized that some Ghanaians genuinely would want to pay taxes but are not empowered to do so because they have not received adequate information on what the taxes will be used for.
He added that. due to the perception of corruption in the tax collection system, some tax complaint citizens may not pay the taxes.
He, therefore, urged the GRA to address such issues and ensure that the tax collection system is robust and free of corrupt practices.
“There are potential leakages in the system. Can we start tackling them and make sure that the system is robust and watertight such that the citizens have trust in the system,” he said.
He has urged the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to increase public education on taxes to ensure growth in the country’s annual tax receipts.
According to him, although the mode of tax collection in Ghana involves enforcement of tax compliance and voluntary compliance, most citizens are not empowered to voluntarily pay their taxes.
He said the activities of the GRA was geared mainly towards the enforced compliance approach which somewhat made more use of aggression to take taxes.
He added that such an approach rather comes at a higher cost to the state as more resources need to be deployed to monitor and check compliance.
While emphasizing that such an approach is not bad and is needed especially when some deliberately decide not to pay their taxes, he said that the voluntary approach was more encouraged.