Dr Alex Ampaabeng, Fiscal Policy Specialist of Oxfam, Ghana, has called on Ghanaians to honour their tax obligations to ensure rapid development of the nation.
He said It was only when taxes were paid promptly that government would be able to provide the needed infrastructure such as good roads, hospitals and other social amenities. Dr Ampaabeng was speaking at a day’s forum organized by his outfit in Accra.
It was on the topic ‘Ghana Tax Dialogue—How Should a Fair Tax system Look Like’’.
Dr Ampaabeng said, Oxfam, as an organization was committed to promoting the welfare of the poor and vulnerable in society by advocating for increased spending, and believes responsible corporate tax practices will promote sustainable domestic revenue, which will help the spending in critical areas.
He said as part of the broader Active Citizenship and Accountable Governance programme, Oxfam was currently undertaking a project called Ghana Tax Dialogue.
Dr Ampaabeng said currently the project was being piloted in Ghana and Kenya, the only two African countries, having been successful in Denmark since its inception in 2014.
He said the programme intends to promote good corporate tax practices, mainly tax transparency and tax responsibility, adding that, it also intends to encourage corporations to disclose their tax practices, payments and incentives received.
The Fiscal Policy Specialist said, in addition, the project aims to contribute towards promoting effective tax administration in Ghana by engaging the tax authority on policies, for responsive and efficient tax administration for a fair tax system in the country.
Dr Ampaabeng said, as part of the initiative, Oxfam was developing a ranking index called Ghana Responsible Tax Index (GRTI), which has sets of principles for companies to adopt and will subsequently rank companies based on their level of disclosure of tax practices and how these were embedded in their overall Corporate Social Responsibility agenda.
‘We will be engaging the key stakeholders within the Ghana tax system on a dialogue table to see ways of improving fair tax practices and improving domestic resource mobilization in the country’, Dr Ampaabeng added.
Mr Eric Dontoh, a partner of ASL Consulting, appealed to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to improve on its communications and administrative challenges and other implementation issues to ensure effective revenue mobilization. Dr Chris Sokpor, Senior Partner, Deon and Neon International, said a well-functioning tax system was critical for gr owing modern and inclusive economies and urged firms to think beyond profit and pursue genuine social impact since taxes were the pillar for nation-building.