Premier calls for nurturing tax paying culture
ADDIS ABABA – Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed called on fellow citizens to give practical response on the significance of paying tax as one of the critical foundations of a country’s civilization and development.
Speaking yesterday at the National Tax Revenue Movement launching ceremony, held under the theme “Delivering on my Responsibility! Demanding my Rights!” the Premier noted that tax payers should develop a positive mindset about tax payment and consider it a responsibility through which they can demonstrate their love for their country and family.
The government has a responsibility and duties to collect tax in fair and transparent fashion at the same time allocate the finance to public expenditure. “We need to stop treating tax evaders as smart and instead consider them for who they are – foolish people who have little regard for their country and future wellbeing of their children.” underlined Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
He further noted that the government is working with commitment to make sure peace, modern taxing system and justice are kept intact. According to him, tax is an involuntary levy and a policy tool that helps mobilize revenue to provide public goods and services. Tax helps to redistribute income/wealth in the society that addresses inequality issues. It can also be used to encourage economic activities such as jobs,investment, equity and supporting economic growth.
A good tax system follows the principles of efficiency, fairness and easy to administer. He also called up on individuals who are involved in tax evasion and contraband to join the legal lane soon before it’s too late.
In order to actualize the set goals and mobilize domestic resources, the government is making preparation to modernize taxation starting with acknowledgments for good performing tax payers and using technology as well shaping those who are violating the rules and regulations. He underlined tax is the fundamental resource that the Nation relies on to make its development sustainable. “Ethiopia’s tax collection rate is about 10.7 per cent, which is lower from the SubSaharan nations but if pertinent stakeholders act practically in spirit of responsibility, we could make difference,” underscored Abiy.
Minister of Revenue Adanech Abebe for her part said unless concerted efforts are made in improving tax system, the nation’s vision of becoming a middle income country could not be actualized in the framed time, 2025. The minister admitted that Ethiopia is not collecting the appropriate revenue that the economy and market generates.
To curb the impact the ministry is exerting level best effort in terms of revising law and improving revenue collection structures in the public office as well as organizing mobilization conferences to boost awareness among others. “We should act early because tax evasion and money laundering crime as well as contraband are significantly affecting the country’s economy. During the occasion, renowned dignitaries drawn from various professions were also assigned to serve as tax ‘ambassadors’ using their respective expertise.
The Ministry is in charge of collecting revenue from customs duties and domestic taxes in addition to raising revenue, and protect the society from adverse effects of smuggling. It was learnt the event was organized by the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) aiming to highlight the role of a just tax revenue collection system in realizing Ethiopia’s stride to middle income status by 2025. The National Tax Revenue Movement will be operational for solid year and believed to create informed business community and to develop the culture of paying tax.
The Ethiopian Herald, December 22/2018
BY MENGISTEAB TESHOME