The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has launched a policy document to assist in the effective prosecution of tax offenders.
The policy is expected to help reduce the high rate of non-compliance of tax laws in the country by potential taxpayers, especially in the informal sector.
According to the GRA, voluntary tax compliance has not been encouraging among income earners in the informal business sector.
Although the GRA has in recent times stepped up efforts to rope in more income earning individuals into the tax net, some business owners still find ways of evading tax.
The Authority is however hopeful the Prosecution Policy document will empower personnel to effectively fight against non-compliance, tax evasion and customs fraud.
Acting Board Chair of GRA Adelaide Ahwireng says the era of tax non-compliance should become a thing of the past.
“The launch of the GRA Prosecution Policy attests to the fact that the Authority wants the public to know that the time when people earning income blatantly evade tax and go free will now be a thing of the past.
“I am happy to say GRA has declared a zero tolerance towards non-compliance, tax evasion, and tax and custom fraud.”
The Commissioner-General of GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti, says all persons earning income must fully comply with the tax laws.
He says the Authority will begin to use prosecution to deter tax evasion.
“I wish to reiterate that, GRA will henceforth use prosecution as a significant tool to ensure that the public comply with tax laws. We encourage income earners to be well acquainted with their obligations under the tax laws.
“Prosecution of tax offenders under this policy will be done to the highest ethical and professional standards, transparency and accountability to achieve the most effective and appropriate results.”
The Ministry of Finance expects a difference in the culture of voluntary tax compliance among income earners following the launch of the Prosecution Policy.
“The Ministry of Finance wholeheartedly supports GRA in this venture because we believe it is going to bring a difference in our tax paying culture.
“It is necessary for GRA to educate its staff in order to ensure strict observance of the Authority’s own procedures for prosecution to achieve its objective,” Michael Ayensu, Coordinating Director at Ministry of Finance noted.
Ashanti Region Minister Simon Osei Mensah entreated the public to comply with the tax laws to avoid prosecution and embarrassment.
The GRA has assured business owners the Prosecution Policy is not a tool to harass existing and potential taxpayers.
By Ibrahim Abubakar| 3news.com|Ghana