The Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in the Upper West Region has launched its tax and good governance week to educate citizens on the need to honour their tax obligations towards faster economic growth.
Over the years the GRA mandated by law to mobilize revenue for national development has devised several strategies including national tax campaign launched in 2017 to ensure that businesses and individuals who are supposed to register and file their returns do so.
Addressing stakeholders during the launch on Monday, Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Dokpoe, the Ag Sector Commander of Customs Division of GRA, said public education was part of efforts to increase compliance by creating the necessary awareness and enforcement of activities.
He said the campaign has made tremendous gains on the national economy in terms of revenue collection, hence the need to sustain the momentum to help mobilize income for quicker development and reposition Ghana beyond aid.
"In order not to lose the gains made in 2017, the Ministry of Finance is collaborating with the GRA to sustain the campaign by establishing a week," he said.
The tax week was on the theme: "File your tax returns, pay your taxes, move Ghana beyond aid."
The publicity is targeted at taxpayers to file their returns and also encourage businesses not registered with GRA to do so.
The Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, Mr Amidu Issahaku Chinnia, who performed the opening ceremony, said before Ghana would be developed to the desired level, citizens would have to play a major role by paying their taxes.
He said taxation was a key tool which countries around the global depended on for mobilization of revenue to develop their national economies.
"To enable government, meet the legitimate demands of the populace, it is imperative for us to contribute and raise enough revenue domestically so that we will avoid the stringent conditionalities attached to loans and grants from our development partners", he said.
He said revenue mobilization over the years has not kept pace with the ever-growing demands of citizens for development projects and better services from government which often creates deficits that must be met through borrowing or support from donor partners.
He added that due to the status of Ghana as a lower middle-income country, concessional loans and support from development partners have reduced considerably, creating the necessity to rely on domestic resources and the need for taxpayers to honour their tax obligations.