Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion that has been ably moved by the Hon Deputy Minister for Education.
The Chartered Institute of Taxation Bill, 2014 was laid in Parliament and read the First time on 17th December 2014. In accordance with article 106 (4) and (5) of the Constitution and Order - I86 of the Standing Orders of the House. The Rt Hon Speaker referred the Bill to the Committee on Education for consideration and report.
The Committee, in the course of its work, was assisted by the Hon Minister for Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku- Agyemang and her team, Council Members of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Ghana as well as officials from the Attorney-General's Department. The Committee is grateful for their assistance.
The Committee referred to the following documents during its delibera- tions:
a. The 1992 Constitution
b. The Standing Orders of Parliament
c. The Chartered Institute of Taxation Bill, 2014
d. The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (Act) Act No. 76, 1992 (now CITN Act, CAP CI0 Vol. 2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004)
The Committee also considered a petition received from the Chartered Institute of Certified Accountants (Ghana) as well as a communication from the National Accreditation Board (NAB) in respect of the Chartered Institute of Certified Tax Accountants (Ghana).
The Chartered Institute of Taxation, Ghana (CITG) is a registered professional body under the Professional Bodies Registration Act (NRCD 143). The Institute, since its establishment, has and continues to play a significant role in the education and training of personnel in the tax profession. The Institute, in collaboration with other actors, provides capacity building for tax professionals in both the public and private sectors to improve knowledge, practices, and standards for effective mobilisation of government tax revenues.
Furthermore, the Institute conducts research into issues relating to taxation, and makes invaluable contributions towards the planning and formulation of tax policies and strategies for the public and -- private sectors. It is significant to note that the recommendations of the Institute largely contributed to the establishment of tax courts by the Judiciary.
The CITG is a founding member of the West African Union of Tax Institutes and the Africa Association of Tax Institutes. The Chartered Institute of Taxation
(Ghana) occupies the presidency and the vice-presidency positions of these associations.
Object of the Bill
The Bill seeks to give the Chartered Institute of Taxation Ghana, the legal mandate to regulate the practice of taxation in the country.
Content of the Bill
The Bill is made up of forty clauses and divided into four main Parts as follows:
a. Chartered Institute of Taxation
b. Qualification and membership of the Institute
c. Administrative and financial provisions
d. Miscellaneous provision.
Part One, comprising clause 1to11 focuses on the Establishment of the Institute, its object and functions and the Governing Council, among others.
Part Two, made up of clause 12 to 25, sets out the registration of tax practitioners, qualification, categorisation of members, prohibition from practicing as a chartered tax practitioner or tax practitioner, removal of name from register, to mention but a few.
Part Three encompasses clause 26 to 32 and highlights among others, the appointment of a Registrar, Functions of the Registrar, Appointment of other staff, and Funds of the Institute.
Part Four covers clause 33 to 37 which capture Offences, Regulations, Interpre- tation, Transitional provisions and Repeal and savings.
The Committee noted that over the years, the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Ghana has been playing a key role in the promotion and development of taxation in the country. It is worth noting that a number of tax professionals and practitioners in both the public and private sectors received their professional training through the accredited- programmes of the Institute.
The Committee observed that in spite of the significant contribution of the Institute to the development of taxation in the country, the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Ghana, lacks the requisite mandate accorded sister chartered institutes in countries like Nigeria to regulate the practice of taxation.
The Committee noted in particular, that the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Nigeria (CITN), which is backed by Act No. 76, 1992, (now CITN Act, CAP C10 Vol. 2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004) makes it the only professional body with the authority to regulate the practice and administration of taxation in the country. This regulatory framework, has contributed tremendously in streamlining the practice of taxation in Nigeria.