Basic schools in Upper East Region sensitised on tax compliance
As part of this year’s Citizenship Week celebration, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has extended its tax compliance education and sensitisation programmes to some basic schools in the Upper East Region.
The move is to inculcate in the pupils the habit of paying tax.
The week-long celebration, which is one of the numerous flagship programmes undertaken by the Commission annually seeks to inculcate in the youth the spirit of honesty and patriotism, particularly in the area of revenue generation towards national development.
The programme, sponsored by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), and on the theme: “Our Taxes Build a Great Ghana”, is a sub theme of the Commission’s theme for this year, “Our Nation, Our Heritage: Consolidating Ghana’s Democratic Gains”, targets about 570 basic schools in the region.
The Regional Office of the NCCE would educate about 50 basic schools, while each Municipality and District Office of the Commission would also engage about 40 basic schools.
Speaking to the media in Bolgatanga, Mr Pontius Pilate Apaabey Baba, Upper East Regional Director of the NCCE said even though the pupils in the basic schools do not pay taxes, it was imperative to inculcate in them the values of honesty and patriotism as they grow.
He said the youth were the future managers of the nation and their education on the importance of honestly declaring their incomes and honouring their tax obligations towards the development of the nation, would make them responsible and incorruptible citizens.
“The Citizenship Week seeks to remind pupils and students of their responsibilities as active citizens and the role they can play to build a strong, vibrant and democratic Ghana.” The Regional Director stated.
“Taxes are the life lines of every nation and have direct impact on development of the nation. Citizens all over the world pay taxes to build their nations, hence consistent or regular tax compliance by income earning citizens result in revenue generation for the government to fast-track socio-economic development across the country.”
Mr Baba indicated that most parents listened to their wards and so when the pupils were well aware of the benefits of paying taxes including the provision of social amenities, such as electricity, health facilities, potable water, roads, schools, libraries, resourcing the security agencies like the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana National Fire Services, they would be able to educate their parents and convince them to honour their tax obligations.
Mr Samuel Akolgo, the Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Commission who engaged some pupils in separate sessions told them that payment of tax was constitutionally mandated and urged the pupils to encourage their parents to register with the GRA for Tax Identification Number (TIN) and file tax returns to help government finance its budget.
He mentioned income tax, corporate tax, pay as you earn, vehicle tax, stamp tax, gift tax, capital tax, and rent tax as the different types of tax modules, and admonished the pupils to cultivate the values of obedience and discipline to build a quality nation.
“My dear children, you have a critical role to play in the development of the country. The nation belongs to you. You are the makers of tomorrow and what you do today will reflect in the society tomorrow. Once you are trained to build a strong nation, our dream of a disciplined society is never far away. For this reason, you must be able to read the pulse of the nation and build a sense of patriotism and love towards the nation.” The PRO stressed.
Ms Felicia Atiamah Awakire, the Girls’ Prefect of Ayuusi-yine Junior High School in the Bolgatanga Municipality, one of the schools visited, thanked the NCCE for enlightening them and pledged they would convince their parents to honestly declare and pay their taxes for the development of the nation.