Gov’t To Broaden Tax Net, Rope In More People


The president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is unhappy with the low numbers of people who pay taxes in the country.

Describing the situation as unacceptable, he said moves are being made to broaden the tax base and rope in more people.

“Less than six percent of our people are part of the taxpaying population of our country. 1.5 million pay tax in Ghana in a population of 30 million people.

“That is an unacceptable set of figures. But it is feasible because the state itself doesn’t have the capacity to be able to make sure that all those who should be in the tax net are in the tax net,” the president said at a conference in South African last week.

The president’s comments come as the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta prepares to present the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government for 2019 this week.

As part of measures to raise more revenue to meet its revenue target for the 2018 fiscal year, government introduced a new known as the high net worth income tax.

In line with the new tax, the government said it will charge 35 percent on incomes that are over ¢10,000.

According to the Finance Minister, the new high net-worth income tax is needed to make the rates charged in the country more equitable.

This, he also added was in line with best practice around the world.

But it appears government wants more. President Akufo-Addo says one of the major focuses of his government is how to broaden the tax net and absorb more people.

We are talking about a vision of Ghana beyond aid. Essentially, what it means is that we believe we are capable of financing our own development out of our own resources.

But if only six percent of people are within the tax net, that already poses a major structural problem. So that is an important focus for government,” President Akufo-Addo added.

It however remains to be seen if any new taxes will be imposed in the 2019 budget.

Meanwhile, the President is promising better times for the country in the coming years

Addressing the 180th anniversary of the Accra Methodist church, president Akufo-Addo admitted despite the rolling out of some of his social interventions programme, times are hard for the country but confident the economy will turn for the better soon.