A Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Abeiku Gyan-Quansah has said Ghana’s tax system was unduly complicated and needed to be simplified to encourage compliance.
He said, “Our tax laws especially for the informal sector…is unduly complicated. So for example, if I am from the informal sector and I have employed somebody, you are asking me to go through the tax bands; which are six currently, the person will give you every reason why they cannot go through. Can we reduce this to about three of them instead of the six we currently have?”
Mr Gyan Quansah said a section of the public was not tax compliant because of the complicated nature of calculating tax under the current system.
“Why do you want to have a tax system that unduly complicates matters for you and then people use it as an excuse not to pay?” he asked.
He said, “If we want people to comply and for us to raise the relevant taxes that we want in this country, we need to ensure the systems are adequately working. If I can actually get away with my wrongs, there is the motivation of getting away and doing the wrong thing, to what extent have we enforce our tax laws in the past.”
Speaking at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting in Accra, Wednesday, Mr Gyan-Quansah said “If the people are assured that; we contribute and we have our contribution protected then we can always go back to ask for more because the natural question that anyone will ask is that what has happened to all the contributions that I have done in the past?
Mr Gyan-Quansah said there was nothing innovative about raising tax revenue if policies and laws were not implemented.
“There is nothing innovative about raising tax revenues if the policies that you have talked about, the laws that you have passed cannot and have not been implemented.”
He said “Before we share innovative ways of raising revenue, the very first point we want to say is that; until and unless the citizens are encouraged and motivated, and reassured that the purse is being protected well we still have challenges when it comes to revenue generation”
He added, “If you have things in the law which we are not passing, you create a lot of uncertainties in the minds of people who have to do it.”