The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has launched a policy document in Kumasi to guide the arrest and prosecution of tax defaulters and evaders in the country.
The aim is to use prosecution as an effective tool to ensure tax compliance among income earners, as indicated in the country’s tax laws.
Mr Kofi Nti, Commissioner-General of GRA, speaking at the launch, said “the Authority is now going to bite hard, by relying on prosecution, as a significant tool to ensure that people honoured their tax obligations.
He said the GRA Act 2019 (Act 791) and other laws administered by the Authority such as the Income Tax Act; the Customs Act, the VAT Act, and the Revenue Administration Act, among others, gave power to the Authority to ensure total compliance.
The Authority had in the last two years focused on nationwide intensive public education campaign and sensitization, to deepen awareness of the various tax issues and the need for public tax compliance, in order to avoid any brushes with the tax laws, which might lead to legal actions.
He said the launch of the prosecution document was not meant to harass existing and potential taxpayers, but a part of administrative actions to fight against non-compliance, tax evasion, tax and custom fraud as well as ensuring the constant flow of revenue to government.
The policy document would be made available to all members of the public particularly taxpayers, tax consultants, legal professionals and the police.
Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister, said no country could develop to the satisfaction of citizens, without generating adequate resources internally through its tax system.
“If the government’s vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid is to succeed and make the desired impact, it is the responsibility of all citizens, particularly taxpayers to discharge their civic responsibilities,” he stated.
He appealed to the GRA to do its homework very well anytime they decided to go to court, by gathering enough evidence to ensure successful prosecution.
Mr Osei-Mensah called for the intensification of public educational programme to sensitize and create awareness to enable taxpayers understand and appreciate the policy’s implications.