The Tax Justice Coalition has asked government to prioritise domestic revenue mobilisation and to cut down on the many tax incentives to individuals and companies to raise enough money for development.
The group said the many tax incentives and abuses by corporate organisations had led to a significant shortfall in tax revenue, necessitating government to borrow to finance its development agenda.
In a statement to commemorate this year’s Global Tax Week, Mr Bernard Anaba, the coordinator of the civil society group, said the government had lost billions of cedis because of tax incentives and tax abuses by corporations and wealthy individuals.
He said these monies could have been used to strengthen public services delivery, improve access to health, water and sanitation, decent housing and transportation.
Mr Anaba urged the government to embark on progressive reforms that tax large incomes, assets, and wealth more, introduce a digital services tax, and end bilateral tax treaties, which do not enure to the country’s benefit.
The Tax Justice Coalition also called for policies to promote domestic and regional tax transparency measures to identify and curb illicit financial flows by promoting country-by-country reporting for multinational corporations and public registers of beneficial owners of legal entities.
There is also the need for the promotion of exchange of information to ensure that all tax administrations will have access to the needed information to curb international tax evasion and avoidance.
It also strengthens the fight against harmful tax practices which facilitate transfer mispricing, tax avoidance and illicit financial flows, including wasteful tax incentives, offshore financial services and harmful tax treaties.
“The COVlD-l9 pandemic has underscored the role of states in the national economy and the provision of public goods and services for the welfare of their people. This has often been dismissed by the neoliberal agenda,” Mr Anaba said.
He said the pandemic presented an opportunity to push for systemic changes and to create alternatives to the current neoliberal development model that values people and planet over profit and greed.
“It creates an opportunity to reimagine a global economy and international financial architecture that is anchored on social justice and substantive equality, which is not possible without tax justice,” Mr Anaba said.
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