Revenue Officers must verify tax compliant status of artisans

Revenue Officers of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) are expected to verify from construction sites about the tax compliant status of workmen on the job.

Under the law, itinerant workmen, including carpenters, electrical technicians and masons should acquire ‘tax stamps’ just as other craftsmen as well as small-scale hairdressers and table top traders to operate.

Mr Joseph K Kumah, Head of the Domestic Revenue Authority Division of the GRA in Ho said this during interaction with participants at a Tax Education Seminar held in Ho on Tuesday.

Mr Kumah was reacting to complain about a participant that tax officers are concentrating on the few artisans with workshops while leaving the droves of artisans doing brisk business from spot to spot.

He said it is easy to tackle artisans working for limited liability companies than floating workmen.

Another participant suggested that issues of taxation and its links to national development should be taught in schools to inculcate in Ghanaians the willingness to comply with tax laws.

Mr John Kofi Tsrakasu, Hotelier said tax men in Ghana are too militant and oriented more to deskwork that reaching out to the prospective tax payer.

He said revenue demands from multiple state agencies, in different shades, be it fees, levies, registration among others has increased the tax burden.

Mr Tsrakasu suggested to GRA to be more outgoing, using flyers with simple messages to get the attention of tax payers.

He asked whether there is any evaluation process for those who make the tax laws to test its efficacy and fairness.

Mr Rodger Kumah, Assistant Commissioner and Head of Medium tax Office observed that taxation is propelled by law and the taxpayer has no choice than to comply.

He said the taxpayer could visit the GRA offices as many times as he or she wants to understand issues better.

Mr Kumah said if taxpayers sent just anybody to represent them at such seminars then they are belittling the importance of the issue.

Topics discussed were Value Added Tax Act 870, filing of tax returns, rent tax, rights and obligations of taxpayers, record keeping and obligations of educational institutions.

Mr Eric Sebastian Awuni, Principal Revenue Officer said it is important that people going into business make efforts to know about the taxation related to their jobs.

He also asked taxpayers to provide verifiable books or records.

Mr Nicholas Ofosu-Yeboah, Senior Revenue Officer Audit said private educational institutions are not exempt from taxation. GNA

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