The African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), an Energy Think Tank, has launched the Open Tax Platform as part of a national tax campaign programme.
The objective of this platform is to help strengthen the tax collection effort of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to identify and address the inherent gaps that allow tax evasion and avoidance schemes to occur.
It is also designed to promote active citizenship by providing opportunity for citizens to share experiences on practices that deprive the state of tax revenue.
Ben Boakye, the head of ACEP in an interview with the media said, a lot of people are not compliant with their tax obligations and they are also aided to evade tax.
According to him, ''ACEP wants the public to come along and identify those evaders, so people can easily share information tax evasion and how it happens. So that can inform GRA on their tax mobilization efforts and to address tax evasion. Because we need to contribute to revenue mobilization to be able to demand accountability from government,’’ he added.
Mr. Boakye said if we [Ghanaians] are demanding the roads, schools, hospitals, and the revenues are not coming, they won’t happen. So this is the first step. Let us raise the revenue and then we can demand accountability for the revenues raised.''
He said, Ghana lost about GHc860 million in 2016 from petroleum downstream alone due to tax evasion.
Citizens he noted are aware of the shortfalls and as part of the campaign, Ghanaians have the option to provide free information on tax evasion or seek reward upon successful claim of evaded sums by the GRA.
Individuals can visit www.opentaaxghana.com to provide the GRA with the needed information on tax evasion.
The Platform will subsequently provide information to citizens on how government revenues are utilized. Let us all contribute to raising revenue and strengthen our demand for accountability.
This is a partnership between the Africa Centre for Energy Policy and GRA, with support from DFID.