- Cites corruption, mismanagement
A study by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) – on exploring innovative measures to promote voluntary tax compliance (VTC) – as one of its key findings has the vast majority of respondents, representing 72.6 percent, revealing that they are not satisfied with how tax revenues are being managed or utilised by government.
Their dissatisfaction is premised on the fact that there is high level of mismanagement, as some respondents cited single-source procurement, abandoned government projects, over-invoicing etc. as the basis for their position.
Only 26.4 percent and 1 percent of respondents out of the survey said they were satisfied (normal utilisation) and very satisfied (prudent/efficient utilisation), respectively.
The respondents were replying to the question: “Are you satisfied with how tax revenues are being managed/utilised?”
Unfortunately, 61.2 percent of respondents expressed some distrust in the GRA. Out of this, 28.4 percent said they do not trust it and 32.8 percent said they are not sure if they can trust the GRA as a state institution responsible for tax administration.
These answers, according to the GII, send negative signals which must be addressed in order to boost trust and confidence in tax collection.
“Trust is a very necessary factor for propelling voluntary tax compliance among taxpayers, and the GRA must do its best to ensure conviction of trust among all registered taxpayers,” said GII’s Finance Manager, Benedict Doh.
The study concluded that the GRA must intentionally undertake programmes which engender public trust and give it a better corporate image.
“Corruption and mismanagement of state resources are key determinants for non-compliance. Most of the respondents expressed grave concerns about the current levels of corruption in the country, and are looking forward to government dealing with the menace promptly,” the study said.
Rising cases of corruption, mismanagement
A recent analysis by IMANI Africa and the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has shown that public boards alone have lost close to GH¢1billion to procurement irregularities over the last decade, from 2011 to 2021.
Similarly, the latest Auditor-General’s report indicates that total irregularities in public sector organisations for 2021 stood at GH¢17.48billion.
This is a 36 percent rise constituting GH¢4.62billion from GH¢12.8billion in 2020.
These revelations have, somehow, confirmed the dissatisfaction expressed by respondent businesses on the alleged high level of mismanagement and corruption in the survey.
A sample size of five hundred (500) respondents targetting at least 60 percent businesses and 40 percent of other identified stakeholders in the tax regime was used. In all, 503 responses were received by the GII and used for the analysis.
The research adopted a random sampling approach in giving all the sample population an equal opportunity to be part of the study.
The study also included an online tool that captured the views of stakeholders in the value chain: businesses, policymakers, implementers, academics and CSOs among others.
Additionally, key informant interview (KIIs) were used to collect information from experts to complement the responses obtained through questionnaires.