A renowned lawyer and former President of the Ghana Bar Association, Sam Okudzeto has indicated that tax evasion by lawyers is an age-old problem. Thus, calling for lawyers still involved in the practice to be prosecuted.
“It’s an old issue… tax is an obligation of every citizen. Lawyers who are supposed to be enforcers of the law must set examples for others to follow, so I think they must be prosecuted if they are not paying their taxes,” he said.
“They [the professionals] will soon be receiving friendly phone calls from the tax authority. I sincerely hope that those involved will move swiftly to regularise their tax affairs before the GRA moves to crack the wipe,” Akufo-Addo said at the 2021 GBA annual conference in Bolgatanga,” added.
In an interview on Asaase Radio’s The Big Bulletin monitored by Dennislaw News, Mr Okudzeto noted that for the system to work in the Country, defaulters of tax including lawyers must be made to face the requisite punishment.
Additionally, he indicated that some lawyers even collect cash, and do not record same. Therefore he stated that a proper system has to be put in place which will ensure that officers go round to inspect books of such companies.
This call is coming after the revelation made by President Akufo-Addo in his keynote address delivered on Monday, September 13, 2021, at the 2021 Ghana Bar Conference which is ongoing at Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.
This year’s Bar Conference is on theme: ENSURING AN INCREASE IN REVENUE MOBILISATION THROUGH TAXATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACCELERATED NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: THE ROLE OF THE LAWYER.
In his address, President Akufo-Addo noted that “The record of lawyers in paying taxes has been historically poor. It is unfortunate, but a most unpleasant fact, that members of the professions in our country have not been known to set a good example when it comes to paying taxes. They appear to think that being members of the learned professions put them above complying with everyday civic duties, like paying taxes. It is embarrassing that lawyers are often at the top of the list of those who flout our tax laws, and use their expertise to avoid paying taxes,” he stressed.
Following the recent exposé by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to the effect that some sixty thousand (60,000) professionals working in the country, including lawyers, accountants, doctors, engineers, surveyors, architects, do not pay taxes, the President was hopeful that persons evading taxes move swiftly to regularise their tax affairs before the GRA moves to crack the whip.
The 2021 Bar Conference has entered the 3rd day, which is the day on which a new crop of National Executives will be elected to steer the affairs of the Association for the next three(3) years.