PARENTS whose children have been enrolled the Free SENIOR High School programme risk being exempted from the policy starting from September 2019 if they fail to register for a Tax Identification Number (TIN).
ACCORDING to the Ministry of Finance, the move is to ensure that people are tax compliant before they are allowed to benefit from government sponsored social intervention programmes and polices.
ALTHOUGH the decision by the government to ensure that every Ghanaian who earns a living pays taxes commendable, care must also be taken linking the TIN to Free SHS so as not to deny needy persons from benefitting from the programme.
OF course, taxes are good because without taxes no country can develop.
BUT we think the decision by the government to ensure that all Ghanaians pay tax through the acquisition of TIN must be given a second thought.
FOR instance, in this circumstance where government wants to link it to the Free SHS policy and probably other social interventions is something that Today is worried about since it can jeopardise the policy.
WE know already the teething problems facing the Free SHS programme so any attempt to introduce a new thing will put parents off, and may defeat the purpose of which the policy was implemented.
WE are not by this saying that people should not pay tax. In fact, we support the idea that, Ghanaians in both formal and informal sectors pay tax to help support government’s social intervention programmes like the Free SHS.
OUR only concern is that in doing so, it should not affect the education of our children as it is the primary responsibility of the government to create an avenue by which economically and socially marginalised adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty.
GHANA Revenue Authority(GRA) must intensify its education on why every Ghanaian should pay his or her tax.
THAT, we believe will help rope more people into the tax net, and also give them joy while paying their taxes since they will see the economic benefits of their taxes.
THE challenge we have in this country is that, our leaders always fail to account to the citizenry what they take from them in terms of taxes.
Example, we collect tolls on our roads, yet all our roads have been deteriorated, and that is why sometimes people are reluctant to pay tax.
We want to believe that the intentions of this government as far as tax collection are genuine and Ghanaians this time will see the benefits of their taxes.