The Social Entrepreneurship Hub and Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sekondi -Takoradi has organized a “Tax Education Workshop” for the businesses they support. This is part of their collaborative effort to build the capacity of business owners in the Western Regions.
The workshop focused on fulfilling the tax obligations of businesses without challenges as it has been observed that most businesses in the formal and informal sectors have difficulties filing their taxes, and this makes some of them avoid paying tax and sometimes evade tax.
Speaking at the training, James Arthur-Amoah, Director, Administration and Projects of SE-HuB, said that it is important to orient businesses and the Ghanaian taxpayer especially at a time government seeks to widen its tax net.
“In most cases, firms and individuals fail to pay their taxes because of a lack of information, which this workshop sought to provide. The government needs taxes to sustain its developmental work; he continued that this initiative of Social Entrepreneurship Hub and GNCCI will take place in other parts of the Western Regions and Ghana to complement government efforts and help regularise businesses country,” he said.
Mrs Rita Aku-Shika Diabah, the Regional Vice Chairperson of Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, Sekondi-Takoradi, shared the importance of tax knowledge and education among MSME in the country to ensure mutual benefits to businesses and the government.
She advocated for measures to be put in place to help address the challenges tax payers face. She pointed out some Chamber services, including business advisory services, business linkages, capacity building, business advocacy, export documentation, etc that are in place to help SMEs.
Resource persons from Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Takoradi, oriented the participants about what tax is about and the expectations of the GRA. The filing of returns and the challenges that accompany them were addressed. The new cashless tax filing system was also introduced to the participants.
The officials took the opportunity to introduce the business owners to the different channels that can be used to file and pay taxes, either at the GRA office or online. They also took the SMEs through the legal and financial implications of filing taxes regularly and correctly. Businesses in the informal sector were also encouraged to pay tax using income tax stamps.
The leadership of the various small scale associations noted that the manner through which tax officials calculate the tax obligations of entrepreneurs is part of the reasons businesses are reluctant to pay tax, as officials do not research the business properly to know precisely how much entrepreneurs are making but rather concentrate on the volumes of available products.
In conclusion, participants and or businesses were encouraged to keep proper accounting records to assist in tax administration. They were again advised to file their returns within the stipulated time and also take advantage of the various tax exemptions and reliefs that are available to them.
Mr Arthur-Amoah mentioned the need for a simple digital accounting system that can assist businesses to keep proper records to meet the requirements. He also made participants aware that depending on their business needs, SE-HuB could support them in their businesses so they can reach out to them when the need arises.
The SE-HuB is a non-profit organization that provides businesses in Ghana’s formal and informal sector with the necessary skills to become locally and internationally competitive. It focuses on green and sustainable entrepreneurship.
The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sekondi-Takoradi, also supports the promotion and protection of businesses in Sekondi-Takoradi by providing prompt business advisory services for its members.