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Taxation In Ghana GRA to tax street beggars and hawkers

The Principal Revenue Chief at the Small Tax Payer Office of the GRA in the Northern region Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed told the media that this particular exercise will target individuals, especially women selling Dubai Wax prints and other imports through door-to-door and neighboring nationals trading on bicycles in the Northern region.

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The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has said that it will be taxing street beggars as part of its plans to widen the tax net.

The Principal Revenue Chief at the Small Tax Payer Office of the GRA in the Northern region Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed told the media that this particular exercise will target individuals, especially women selling Dubai Wax prints and other imports through door-to-door and neighboring nationals trading on bicycles in the Northern region.

Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed explained that some of those on the streets are earning more than other people who are taxed often hence the need for the street beggars and hawkers to pay taxes as well.

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“Those who carry things on their heads to sell (hawkers) be it cloth or consumables, we will tax them, how much more people who earn daily,” the Revenue Officer said.

“GRA taxes foreigners in town and by law, the beggars fall within the taxable threshold,” Alhaji Mohammed said.

Alhaji Yahaya said some of the beggars now have assets because begging for alms has become their regular job, thereby making the “begging business” attractive.

“It is difficult to tax them but if they get the understanding that the income that they are earning, they are supposed to pay something to the government it will help,” the principal STO revenue officer stated.

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Even though the officer could not give an estimate of a daily income of the beggars, he believed that their earnings were more than enough to be taxed.

Hundreds of people have circled the Tamale Business District begging in the streets and pavements. Most of these people are from Niger and Mali. Most of these beggars are women, nursing mothers or living with one disability or the other.

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