Consider The Poor When Taxing – GUNA

Ghana United Nations Association (GUNA) has charged the government to always consider the poor anytime its wants to implement or introduce new tax policies in the country.

A workshop GUNA organized in Accra describes a regressive tax as one which taxes everyone at the same rate, regardless of their income level, and actually takes a higher percentage tax of lower-income earners’ income, than it takes those who earn more.

To this end, GUNA sees the regressive taxes depraved tax, which keeps impoverishing those struggling to live from hand to mouth.

True regressive taxes are those levied on products like food, water, beverages, and gasoline, as well as fees for driver’s licenses, parking permits, museum and park admissions, and tolls for accessing roads, tunnels, and bridges.

Bishop Nathaniel Nii Odoi Rudolph, Project Manager, GUNA, also cited Value Added Tax (VAT – 15%), Communications Service Tax (CST), andPetroleum Tax (70% of tax per a litre bought) or TOR recovery level amongst a number of other regressive taxes which depletes the poor more in the country.

He further argues that the regressive tax affects the poor more than the rich; “in some cases, the poor get poorer and the rich get richer”.

In view of this, GUNA opted for a progressive tax which has the taxrate increases as the taxable amount increases. The Project Manager explained that the term “progressive” refers to the way the tax rate progresses from low to high, with the result that a taxpayer’s average tax rate is less than the person’s marginal tax rate.

“Any government that has the poor at heart would want to use progressive tax policy system to help rescue the poor a bit,” Bishop Rudolph lamented.

In a related development, GUNA commended the government for the implementation of TIN policy which they thought widen the tax net to raise more revenue to help develop.

As part of their contribution to develop Ghana, the workshop trained trainers who would go to educate GUNA members across the country on the importance of Tax Identification Number (TIN).

The Project Manager hinted that some people thought the TIN is for sale or one has to be a worker before he/she could go for it; all this was as a result of poor publicity and explanation on the policy.

For  this, the workshop has charged the government and institutions responsible for the implementation of the TIN policy to carry out with a convincing publicity to ensure Ghanaians who are qualified to acquire the TIN gets the rationale behind it and how important it is to acquire the TIN.

Sources: the republic news online.com/ Delali A. Awuyeh

The Republic News Online

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