The Head of Audit Services at KPMG, Anthony Sarpong has urged government to create a centraliSed database that will help it track and identify records of individuals working or owning businesses in a bid to capture them in the tax net.
“We need one centralised database system connecting the Registrar-General’s Department with Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and the Passport Office. As people pay their social security we need to reconcile whether all these people are in the tax net. If we are able to do that, I think we can find out their income and be able to tax them,” he said.
Government has merged the Internal Revenue Authority, VAT and CEPS as the Ghana Revenue Authority to streamline tax collection.
Even though he lauded government’s effort at revamping tax mechanisms in the country, he maintained that it should also consider strengthening the structures of identification.
“In this country we have weak identification system. People work and make money without being captured in the tax net. We need to have the structures where from school to the start of employment these people can be in the tax net for government to identify them,” he said.
He also added that for every country to develop, it requires individuals and corporate institutions in that country to pay their respective taxes in order to help develop the nation.
Ghana’s development is undermined by tax evasion, as colossal millions of Ghana cedis in taxes are being evaded by some companies and individuals in the country.
These tax evaders take advantage of the loop-holes in the country’s revenue mobilisation system to syphon revenue that could have gone into the provision of basic amenities for the country.
Recently, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Ghana, appealed for government to step-up efforts to retrieve funds misappropriated through implementation of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), Subah Infosolutions, Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), and other dubious judgment debts to halt the cedi’s depreciation.
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