An international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), OXFAM Ghana has admonished businesses not to see taxes as margins of Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR).
This admonish was given at the OXFAM Ghana’s Tax Dialogue series which was held at the plush Mensvic Hotel in Accra.
The Ghana Tax Dialogue series which brought together key actors within the Ghana tax system was on the theme: “How should a fair tax system look like”.
Addressing participants at the event, OXFAM Ghana’s Fiscal Policy Specialist, Dr. Alex Ampaabeng emphasized that businesses have the ability to shape and transform lives around the world. However, in order to do so, businesses will need to focus on achieving much greater alignment between their purposes, conduct and sustainable development. He noted.
According to Dr Ampaabeng, while many businesses in the past have viewed tax as a burden and cost to minimize, responsible businesses are increasingly recognizing that well-functioning tax systems are critical for growing modern and inclusive economies where both society and businesses thrives.
He explained that the change in mind set on the part of business owners was partly due to increasingly public debate which has intensified greatly around overly aggressive tax practices of multinationals to reduce tax contributions which undermine domestic resource mobilisation for public services.
“This shows that tax is no longer at the margins of CSR but firmly at the heart of corporate sustainability” Dr Ampaabeng noted.
He however, appealed to the private sector actors to think beyond profit and pursue genuine social impact programmes which involve responsible tax and business practices.
Dr Ampaabeng further explained that to invest in sustainable development and the future of the business – responsible companies, committed to contributing to sustainable development and ensuring their long-term success, must think about the impact of tax avoidance and manage them for the common good.
He also called business to respect the fundamental human rights – corporate tax behaviour can have an impact be it negative or positive on the realization of fundamental human rights.
According to him tax avoidance creates reputational and other business risks for companies and their investors.
He maintained that Oxfam Ghana as an organisation committed to promoting the welfare of the poor and vulnerable in our society by advocating for increased pro-poor spending, believes a responsible corporate tax practices will promote sustainable domestic revenue which will help spending in critical areas.
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
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