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27.04.2005 General News

Seek benefits from income tax - Aliu

By GNA

Accra, April 27, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama on Wednesday filed his tax returns for 2004 and encouraged Ghanaians workers to do same as part of their social responsibility and also to enjoy the tax relief due them.

The Vice President, accompanied by Finance Minister Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu and other public officials, filed his returns at the Kinbu District Office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). He stressed that it was important that the employed paid their taxes promptly to empower the Government to undertake basic development projects to improve the quality of life of all.

"From filing my returns, I have realised that there are also several benefits that I can enjoy and we must all take advantage of this to cushion us," he said.

The benefits for those who file their returns include a refund of 240,000 cedis per annum to support the education of up to three children; 300,000 cedis for those either married or with two dependent children and 200,000 cedis for those whose aged parents are dependent on them.

Physically challenged employees are entitled to 25 per cent relief of their annual incomes.

Mrs Esther Azu, Chief Inspector of the District, who took both the Vice President and the Finance Minister through the fling procedures, told the GNA in an interview that the IRS had stepped up its campaign to increase the awareness on the filing of returns.

"The compliance level is still low, especially with the informal sector, but we are trying our best to encourage people to respect the law, hence the introduction of the tax stamp," she said.

Act 592 of 2000 makes it a statutory obligation for working people to file their annual tax returns for the previous year by the last working day of April in the following year.

Failure to do so after the deadline attracts a penalty of 10,000 cedis per day for individuals and self-employed persons while corporate entities pay 20,000 cedis.

Last year, IRS contributed 5.2 trillion cedis, representing 32 per cent to the total national revenue receipts.

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