The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has issued a stern warning to members of the legal fraternity fond of tax evasion.
Akufo-Addo says it is high time the lawyers began honoring their tax obligation, or face the full rigors of the law if they fail to do so.
This comes barely a month after an exercise conducted by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) revealed that over 60,000 business professionals including lawyers have not been paying their taxes, a situation the President feels is embarrassing.
Speaking at the Ghana Bar Conference in the Upper East Regional capital Bolgatanga, President Akufo_Addo said, the non-compliant lawyers will soon be dealt with by the Ghana Revenue Authority.
“It is embarrassing that lawyers are often on top of the list of those who flout our tax laws and use their expertise to avoid paying taxes. They appear to think, that being members of the learned professions puts them above compliance with everyday civic duties like paying taxes”, Akufo-Addo said.
The conference is themed, ‘Ensuring an increase in revenue mobilization through taxation for the purpose of accelerated national development: The role of the lawyer’.
“They will soon be receiving friendly phone calls from the tax authority. I sincerely hope that those involved will swiftly move to regularize their tax affairs before the GRA moves to crack the whip,” the President mentioned.
At the same event, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, made a passionate appeal to lawyers to pay their taxes.
He was of the view that many of the taxes paid by some lawyers are not commensurate to their luxurious lifestyles or the revenue they generate.
“It is sad to say that many lawyers are caught in the phenomenon of tax evasion, as they unjustifiably avoid being caught in the tax net, either by understating their profits or concealing their true incomes. The luxurious lifestyles of certain lawyers, riding in the plushest of vehicles and acquiring top-end properties, are hardly commensurate with the amount of taxes they pay,” Godfred Dame said.