Prime News Ghana

Beneficiaries of free SHS will pay more taxes in future - GRA

By Wendy Amarteifio
Free SHS beneficiaries
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The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says beneficiaries of the Free Senior High Education programme being implemented by the government will pay more in taxes in the future.

According to the Commissioner-General of GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti, the programme is an investment to build skilled labour pool which will translate to increase in payment of more taxes to the state in future.

“The President has enabled us to have a Free SHS. I was privileged as a young student to have this CMB scholarship and it allowed me to go to secondary school alongside my elder brother. But for the CMB Scholarship, I would have been delayed. Now I pay tax not less than Ghc10, 000 a month''.

''The Free SHS will lead to a situation where the youth will be paying more taxes in their future. So it is like investment that is being made to collect more taxes later,” he said during the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop for members of Private Newspapers Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) held in Koforidua.

The workshop which was under the theme: “Bringing the Informal Sector into the Tax Net-The Role of the Media” sought to train members of the Association on the various emerging tax issues as well as challenges to disseminate same to the Ghanaian public to help change the negative attitudes in relation to the payment of taxes in the country.

The Commissioner-General underscored the importance of revenue mobilization to the development of the country and the achievement of the “Ghana Beyond Aid” hence the Authority has over the past two years rolled out several innovative mechanism such as Taxpayer Identification Number(TIN), Excise Tax Stamp, Paperless clearance at Ports, and Cargo Tracking Note(CTN), and recently deployed -Integrated Tax Application and Preparation System (iTaPS) an online filing system all aim at simplifying, processes and procedures to encourage payment of taxes and maximize revenue generation.

He also hinted of another intervention in the offing which is an e-payment platform to enable taxpayers in informal sectors pay their taxes through Mobile Money and Electronic Point of Pay device to help capture VAT transactions on real time basis.

He was therefore hopeful that the workshop will build capacity of the PRINPAG members to set the right agenda on taxation by helping the awareness creation through publications to help cause attitudinal change to increase compliance.

Free SHS 

The Free SHS (Free Senior High School) policy is a government of Ghana initiative introduced by the President Akuffo-Addo administration in September 2017.

The policy had been a major campaign policy prior to the election of President Akuffo-Addo in 2016. Although the policy is supposed to make secondary education in Ghana absolutely free, there are some additional financial contributions parents are expected to make to the Parent Teacher's Association, and many other costs incurred.