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Government To Tax Foreign Residents

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The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta has disclosed that government will soon tax foreigners who have stayed in Ghana for over 10 years.

According to him, foreigners who have had a long stay in the country are not challenged enough to pay tax.

“Anytime we talk about taxes it seems we are talking to only Ghanaians. We need to directly talk to the Indians, Japanese, and the others. If you are here for 10 to 40 years and this is where your livelihood is, we are going to demand certain amounts in response to what we have to do to build this country”, he said.

He made this statement at the launch of the National Tax Campaign organized by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), in Accra recently.

Touching on the informal sector, Ken Ofori Atta said “If I am in the informal sector and I am benefiting from roads, and health units, then there is a little of moral responsibility.

“Our position as a government is that we should continue to make sure social interventions are working properly and through that good citizens will be drawn to pay their dues.”

He further called for the need to sanction people who refuse to pay taxes.

Tax Payment Statistics

According to statistics from GRA, there are about 1.2 million taxpayers registered, of which 1 million are in the formal sector.

There are also 200,000 in the informal sector which contributes 1% to the total tax revenue.

Tax Education

The Commissioner General of GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti, on his part stated that the national tax campaign is aimed at increasing the awareness amongst Ghanaians about tax issues.

“It will enable the public understand and appreciate the importance of taxes and the benefits we all have from it in national development. We all have a role to play, let us all be out there to play our role”, he stressed.

He hinted that GRA intends to move forward and build a data base that will ensure that those who generate income will be in their tax net.

There were solidarity messages from Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Institute of Public Relations, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), and others.

They all pledged to support GRA in conveying the message on voluntary tax compliance to the public.

Source: Emmanuel Yeboah Britwum/ thePublisher

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