President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Joseph Obeng, has urged government to make taxes affordable and simple to enhance compliance.
According to him, the practice of piling more taxes on the few compliant tax-payers in the country is counterproductive to increasing the government’s internal revenue generation.
His comments follow a press statement from the Food and Beverage Association of Ghana highlighting the adverse effects of over-taxation on the Ghanaian economy.
The Association’s executive chairman, John Awuni, emphasized that while various governments have attempted to achieve stable economic growth in Ghana, none have managed to engineer a prolonged period of prosperity, leading to the blame game between successive administrations.
The Association has therefore called for major tax cuts in the 2024 fiscal year.
Supporting their claim, the GUTA president said the trend of over-taxation is what has led to taxation non-compliance.
“Let it not be said that we’re not patriotic – that’s what normally it’s made to look like, no, we understand that we have to pay our taxes but taxes should be affordable. We don’t have to be overpriced out of taxation, we don’t have to be overburdened out of taxation.
You see even when you’re doing economics our economy is not in isolation among the nations in West Africa. And when they say that our tax to GDP in the sub-region is the lowest, why is it so? Because the other neighbouring countries their taxes are affordable,” he said.
Joseph Obeng further urged the government to be prudent with its expenditure patterns.
According to him, the government’s failure to rein in its expenditure bill is largely responsible for the huge GDP-to-tax ratio.
“If we’re not prudent with our expenditure, we’ll pay all the taxes and it will not match up with the GDP that we’re talking about. If you raise the expenditure so high then of course what you’re receiving will become negligible for you,” he added.