The majority of Medium, Small and Micro Enterprise (MSME) owners in Ghana are unwilling to pay more taxes even if it means benefiting from more improved government services.
This is according to the report of a survey conducted by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana).
The report titled ‘Access to Justice and Public Services, Experience of Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) in Ghana, said most registered MSMEs are aware that they have to submit their annual returns to the Registrar-General Department with 81% of those interviewed reporting they have.
They however think it is difficult to access information on taxes and fees they are expected to pay, and how government or the MMDAs use revenues from taxes and fees or levies.
Indeed, majority of MSME owners or caretakers are unwilling to pay more taxes even if it means more government services (62%).”
“Equally substantial minorities of MSME owners or caretakers are largely dissatisfied with services they receive in return for tax payments they make (29% and 47%),” the report added.
The report also showed that compared to male-owned and male/female-owned businesses, female-owned businesses are highly dissatisfied with services received in return for paying VAT, income tax, and property rate.”
The NGO said its checks with regulatory institutions however indicated that there are various services and support units in place to disseminate accurate information and offer guidance with the intent of helping MSMEs grow.
“Nonetheless, juxtaposed with the survey data, MSMEs lack awareness of these services and support systems, and capacity to access them limits them from having the opportunity to fully access these services. Equally, regulatory bodies do not have gender-specific policies or programs,” it noted.
Less than 10% of Ghana’s 30.8m population is paying direct tax – Ofori-Atta laments
Less than 10 percent of Ghana’s 30.8 million population pay direct taxes, a situation the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta said was “a poor reflection” on the country when compared to other middle-income countries.
“Only 2,364,348 are bearing the burden of the entire population as taxpayers as of August 2021,” he outlined in his budget presentation in Parliament on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.
This figure is informed by the 2021 Population and Housing Census.
The Minister juxtaposed this figure with the registered voter population of 17 million, which gives an indication of the number of Ghanaians aged 18 and over.
This is a trend that needs to be addressed “to build a more equitable society,” Mr. Ofori-Atta stressed.