An Afrobarometer report has revealed that many Ghanaians do not understand what their taxes are used for.

The 2021 survey conducted by the research network says though eight out of 10 citizens (79%) citizens agree that authorities have the right to demand taxes, less than two out of 10 (15%) are of a contrary view.

In March, Parliament in its 2021 budget statement introduced new taxes, attributing most of it to the unforeseen developments that characterised the advent of the novel coronavirus.

These include a 1% Covid-19 levy added to the VAT and a 1% addition to the National Health Insurance
Levy (NHIL).

These increments were vehemently resisted by a section of the public including the Minority in Parliament who described the imposition as regressive and will impose further hardship on citizens.

Against this backdrop, the report insists that Ghanaians endorse taxation and are even willing to pay higher taxes to support the country’s development but find the avenues for utilisation problematic.

The study found that “large majorities say it’s difficult to find out what taxes they’re supposed to pay (61%) and how the government uses tax revenues.”

Alleged corruption among tax officials have also bred mistrust tax authorities as far as the revenue collection regime, the survey posited.

“Only four in 10 citizens (39%) say they trust the tax authorities “somewhat” or “a lot.” More than eight in 10 (84%) think at least “some” tax officials are corrupt, including one-third (34%) who think that “most” or “all” are involved in graft,” the study indicated.

 

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