Story: Yaw TAKYI
Prof Stephen Kwaku Asare, has charged the government to arrest and prosecute lawyers and other professionals who are not paying their taxes.
According to him, there cannot be any difference in what the government can or will be doing if all they do is to appeal or warn them.
Speaking at the Bar Conference in Bolgatanga on Monday, September 13, 2021, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cautioned his colleague lawyers especially and other professionals across the country who are shirking their tax obligations.
He said, the current situation where about 60,000 professionals in the nation’s workforce were not complying with tax laws was worrying.
The President stated that it was more embarrassing where lawyers in many jurisdictions who were supposed to ensure sanity in the clients’ books, rather spearhead the canker, leading to shortfalls in revenue.
“They appear to think, that being members of the learned professions puts them above compliance with everyday civic duties like paying taxes. It is embarrassing that lawyers are often on top of the list of those who flout our tax laws and use their expertise to avoid paying taxes,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo further called on all and sundry to take steps towards regularising their activities before the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) cracks the whip.
“They will soon be receiving friendly phone calls from the tax authority. I sincerely hope that those involved will swiftly move to regularize their tax affairs before the GRA moves to crack the whip,” the President insisted.
Reacting to this on his Facebook timeline, Kwaku Azar, as he is popularly referred to, wrote on Facebook, “If lawyers, or other professionals, are not paying taxes, arrest and prosecute them.
“Appealing to or warning them will not make any difference. Writing a new tax law will not make any difference.
“We make simple things too complicated.”
Meanwhile, Prof Henry Kwasi Prempeh, cannot comprehend why lawyers will evade tax.
Commenting on Kwaku Azar’s post, the Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) who is also a lawyer himself said, lawyers were the most visible professionals in town, “just attach their wigs keke.”