The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has refuted reports the Commissioner-General had said that Free SHS beneficiaries would pay more taxes than non-beneficiaries in the future.
A statement signed by Kwasi Bobie-Ansah, Assistant Commissioner, Communications & Public Affairs Department read:
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) wishes to clarify an attribution to the Commissioner-General by a section of the media on whether beneficiaries of the free SHS policy will pay more taxes than non-beneficiaries in future.
The attribution arose from the reportage of remarks given by the Commissioner-General at a capacity building workshop for members of the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) over the weekend in Koforidua.
What the Commissioner-General said was that the Free SHS Policy is an investment government is making into the lives of the beneficiaries today. The result/impact would, however, be felt in the long run. Due to the various skills acquired by the many beneficiaries, when they enter the job market and begin paying taxes, collectively, they would contribute more taxes to national coffers.
GRA is very much aware of the principle of equity in taxation and therefore would not use different rates for taxpayers on the same income on the basis of benefitting from the Free SHS policy.
The Commissioner-General never said that Free SHS beneficiaries would pay more taxes than non-beneficiaries in the future. The Commissioner-General explained that by virtue of the fact that he benefited from a Cocoa Marketing Board (CMB) scholarship as a student, he is able to pay so much tax today. It is his expectation that due to the investment the Free SHS policy is making in the beneficiaries, they will be in a similar position to pay the required taxes in the future.