An official of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in the Northern Region, has stated that in broadening the tax net, even beggars in the country ought to be taxed as long as they earn some income.

According to the Principal Revenue Chief at the small tax payer office of the GRA in the Northern Region, Alhaji Mohammed Yahaya, the move will also target traders involved in door to door sales of Dubai wax print and other imported products.

Mr. Yahaya said it had become necessary to tax beggars, given that they fall within the taxable threshold.

“There are beggars who have taken begging as a hobby or even as a business. Day in, day out, they are into begging and they are earning income. The income that they are earning requires them to pay tax…I believe they will fall within the taxable threshold, and for that matter they should be given the tax stamp,” Mr. Yahaya explained.

But the Manager of the Tamale Small Tax Payers’ office , Cephas Nelson Agoro on Accra-based Citi FM explained that his colleague’s comments were “taken out of context.”

“That is not true. I think there was a programme that was organised for the media to educate them on their tax obligations and one media man asked a question on what the public should be paying a tax on then my deputy gave an example that anybody who earns an income is subject to that and he gave example of taxing beggars who had acquired property through begging,” Mr. Agoro said.

He further indicated that it will be impossible for the GRA to tax beggars since there is no law mandating the latter to do so.