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Ghanaians are willing to pay taxes but do not trust how gov’t spends it – Report

Ghanaians are willing to pay taxes but they however do not trust how the taxes paid will be used by government, an A new Afrobarometer report has revealed. 

“Ghanaians endorse taxation and are even willing to pay higher taxes to support the country’s development, a new Afrobarometer study shows. However, a majority of citizens say it is difficult to find out what taxes and fees they are supposed to pay and how the government uses tax revenues,” the report released on Friday April 9, 2021 said.


It also noted: “The analysis finds that citizens are more supportive of taxation if they believe the government is doing a good job of delivering basic services. But many citizens also express mistrust of tax authorities and see widespread corruption among tax officials. In its 2021 budget statement, the government introduced new taxes, including a 1% COVID-19 levy added to the VAT and a 1% addition to the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL).


NEW SURVEY


Below are other highlights of the report


Eight out of 10 citizens (79%) say that tax authorities always have the right to collect taxes. Fewer than two out of 10 (15%) disagree (Figure 1).

▪ A large majority (72%) are willing to pay more in taxes to help finance the country’s development from domestic resources rather than through external loans (Figure 2).

▪ Citizens who think the government is doing a good job of improving basic health services, addressing educational needs, providing water and sanitation services, maintaining roads and bridges, and providing a reliable supply of electricity are 6-8 percentage points more likely to endorse its right to collect taxes (Figure 3).

▪ But large majorities say it’s difficult to find out what taxes they’re supposed to pay (61%) and how the government uses tax revenues (70%) (Figure 4).

▪ 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.

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