The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Teshie-Nungua branch has rolled out a sensitisation programme to reach out to the tax-paying public as part of efforts to mobilise revenue in support of national development,
The programme, which is a follow-up to the recently-launched national tax campaign is to among others things create tax awareness and education on the need for members of the informal sector to honour their tax obligations to the country.
The exercise saw staff of the Teshie-Nungua office undertake a float procession along the Teshie-Nungua road. It started from Teshie Lacala amids music, to tease the business community out, and ended at the Nungua Junction Mall.
Commenting on the rationale behind the exercise, the Manager for Teshie-Nungua GRA Small Tax Payer Office, Frank Kpobi, explained that the campaign is to promote tax compliance as well as broaden the tax-net.
“We are operating at the small tax payer level, which is largely dominated by the informal sector. It is not easy doing business at that level because most of them do not appreciate why they should pay tax. So, we are doing this campaign to educate and sensitise them, and persuade them of the need to pay taxes,” he said.
He however lamented that the unorganised nature of the informal sector makes tax collection from the sector very difficult.
Despite the challenges, he explained that his office has been exceeding its monthly revenue targets since beginning of the year.
The campaign covers Teshie, Nungua, Spintex, Accra Mall and the Trade Fair area, and is expected to last at least four weeks.
“We need to change the perception of people, their attitudes and beliefs – so after the exercise we are to do an evaluation to see areas where we can improve on our revenue collection,” Mr. Kpobi added.
Apart from the float, the office will also be embarking on one-on-one education exercises to convince the tax-paying public, especially small business owners, to fulfil their tax responsibilities to government.
“I want to remind everyone that taxes are obligatory; we don’t have an option. Without taxes the country cannot move on: we cannot develop,” he further noted.
“Some of the policies that government has launched, like the free Senior High School, need money to sustain them and even to do more developmental projects. We all need to contribute our quota to national development, so every little tax matters,” Mr. Kpobi added.