Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Only 47,000 pay income tax in Kumasi metro – Dep Fin Minister

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Adnan Adams Mohammed

A Deputy Minister of Finance, Charles Adu Boahen has expressed shock at the number of people that pays “Pay As You Earn (PAYE)” or income tax in the Kumasi metropolis in the Ashanti Region, the second largest commercial metropolis in the country.
According to data from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), only 47,000 of the people pays income tax or PAYE to the state out of about two million (2 million) active population engaged in income-earning activities.

This was disclosed at Citi FM’s Economic Outlook programme held at the University of Ghana, last week.

“There’re a lot of expectations we [Ghanaians] have for government; yet we are not paying income taxes. We did an analysis at the GRA [Ghana Revenue Authority] in Kumasi. In Kumasi there are 47,000 personal income tax payers. There must be some 2 million registered voters meaning that these people are registered to vote but they are not paying taxes.”

“We just found this data and we discussed it two weeks ago. So it must be fairly recent. It’s unbelievable. The whole of Kumasi, there are only 47,000 PAYE payers. When I heard the number I was blown away,” he stated.

Nationally, data from the Ghana Revenue Authority suggests that only about 1.2 million people are active direct tax payers.

GRA is currently on a massive drive to get more people to pay direct taxes.

Adu Boahen, at the Economic Outlook complained that although government is willing to transform the country, only a few people pay direct taxes.

He said that such a situation could adversely affect government’s laudable initiatives such as the free Senior High School programme.

The Deputy Minister further urged Ghanaians to pay their taxes to enable government execute its mandate.

“It makes you realize that we are not carrying our fair share as a people. I think we need to create this sense of awareness and responsibility as a people that we also have to play a role if we all want this to work. We all have a role to play. It takes more to keep the lights on, to keep the roads tarred, to provide you all these services, the free SHS, the healthcare and services among others. Collectively as a people, we all have a part to play,” the Deputy Minister added.

The Economic Outlook forum was part of events lined up to mark the Citi Business Festival.

The event was on the theme “Assessing Ghana’s Economy Under the IMF Programme.”

Former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, CEO of the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), Nana OseiBonsu, Head of the Economics Department at the University of Ghana, Prof. Peter Quartey, and a representative from the Trades Union Congress were part of the panelists at the forum.

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