Tax defaulters in hot soup as gov’t resolves to make prosecution key sanction

Daniel Nuer, Head of Tax Policy at the Finance Ministry[/caption] Government has resolved to be tough on tax defaulters in country, and has consequently warned it will begin prosecution of individuals and organisations who may default in the payment of various taxes. According to the Finance Ministry, the government is now moving beyond administrative sanctions to prosecution because it has realised that companies and individuals are now getting comfortable in payment of fines. Head of Tax Policy at the Ministry, Daniel Nuer, who announced this in Accra Thursday said people are used to paying administrative fines, hence the “government is going further than that; people are going to be prosecuted”. Mr. Nuer announced this at the 4th Ghana Investment Promotion Centre’s CEOs’ Breakfast Meeting, but did not give further details on when the full scale prosecution of tax defaulters will start. The annual event seeks to offer the private sector a platform to deliberate with key government stakeholders and experts in different fields on current business issues and make appropriate recommendations to government in a bid to influence policy formulation. [caption id="attachment_103141" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Some participants at the breakfast meeting[/caption] This year’s event was on the theme: “Implementation of Tax Stamp Policy; Benefits, Perspectives and Experiences. “Government is going to prosecute tax offenders,” he emphasized, and advised individuals and companies especially, to read the various tax laws in the country to update themselves on the content, particularly the consequences for defaulting in paying tax.

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“Naming and shaming has been provided for in the Revenue Administration Act and we can publish offenders, what they did, the amount involved,” he added. Mr. Nuer observed a lot of things are taken for granted in Ghana, something he said, does not auger well for the development of the country. Commenting on the issue of the excise tax stamp, he said government recognizing the consistent decrease in revenue from excise tax, resolved to introduce the tax stamp to help pluck all the loopholes to shore up revenue. The excise tax stamps are small stickers with various security features supplied by government to some manufacturers and importers at no cost to be affixed to their products before they are released onto the market. The tax stamp, he said, will control the importation and local production of excisable products for revenue purposes, check illicit trading, smuggling and counterfeiting of the selected products, check under-declaration of goods, protect and increase revenue among others. By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana ]]>