The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), in collaboration with the Judicial Training Institute, has trained 30 judges on tax laws to facilitate the trial of tax cases and prosecution of tax defaulters.
The participants included selected circuit court judges in Accra and Tema in the Greater Accra Region. The two-day exercise would be extended to other regions.
The Commissioner-General of the GRA, Rev. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, said the training would enable the judges to appreciate tax laws better to help them in the trial of tax offences.
He said it would also enable the enforcement of compliance since prosecution was part of the procedure for enforcing tax payment.
“After the training, we can start effective prosecution of tax defaulters who fail to honour their tax obligation,” Rev. Owusu-Amoah said.
The Commissioner-General said the authority was mandated to mobilise revenue for national development, and that this year, the entity was expected to collect taxes totalling GH¢60 million, and “we are on course”.
He further said the training would strengthen the partnership between the authority and the judicial service in ensuring the enforcement of tax laws for more revenue generation.
The Director of the Judicial Training Institute, Justice Samuel K. Marful-Sau, who is also a Justice of the Supreme Court, said the training formed part of the continuing education of the judiciary for judges to be conversant with the law, especially those on tax.
“It is said the law is in the judges’ bosom, but sometimes we are not able to apply the law to the satisfaction of policy makers. Every law has a policy behind it, so it is important that we engage the institutions that are supposed to implement the laws so that the judiciary and the institutions would work together at the same level,” he said.
According to Mr Justice Marful-Sau, laws were passed with purpose and that judges were trained to interpret the laws, adding “it is easy to interpret the law, if you know the rationale behind the law; you will ensure that the objective of the law is met for the benefit of all.”