The West Africa Coordinator of Pan african Federalist Movement (PAFM) and National Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah, says it is unfair for the president to be exempted from the country’s tax net and calls for his addition to serve as an example to others .
He makes a strong case that the first gentleman of the land earns an income as an employee of the state and that should warrant his obligation to pay a taxable percentage on his remuneration to the state. He cannot fathom why the vice president is not offered the same opportunity as it is in the case of the president.
Whiles blaming Ghana’s constitution for the laxity, he explained his position by stressing “it is unfair for the president to be excluded from the payment of taxes. He is the first gentleman of the land and a good example must be set in that regard. I am struggling to understand why the vice president is rather required to pay tax. That is the law but I think it is wrong and must be changed”
His comments were in response to a question by a pupil.on whether on not the President pays tax during an interactive session with some pupils of the St. Martin DE Porres School in Accra on Wednesday.
The encounter which was held on the theme: “Our Taxes Build a Great Ghana “ was at the instance of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) as part of activities to mark its citizenship week celebration.
Mr. Mornah encouraged the pupils to build a tax-paying mindset as part of their academic development in order to contribute to the economic strength of the country.
“By law, you are not supposed to pay tax as children. Even with that, you pay indirect tax anytime you purchase an item. As citizens of this country, you are required to observegood hygiene, patriotism, peace, unity and all other activities that promotes nation building. But all of these are not enough until you fulfil your tax demands, “ he noted.
He seized the occasion to enlighten the pupils on the various taxes they are likely to encounter now or in future. They include the Income Tax , Gift Tax, CorporateTax, Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Property Tax and Value Added Tax (VAT). He also made mention of the Tax Identification Number (TIN) and entreated the pupils to get one for themselves when they reach majority age status.
The broad theme for the NCCE this year is “Our Nation, our Heritage: Consolidating Ghana’s Democratic Gains .”
The occasion is used to set the agenda for school children to join in the awareness creation campaign on tax compliance and also to inculcate in them the culture of tax paying as they grow to become responsive adults.