Adnan Adams Mohammed
The Ghana Revenue Authority has declared their preparedness and making maximum efforts through effectiveness and efficiency to exceed the revised tax revenue target set by the finance minister in the mid-year budget.
The government revised down the tax revenue target from GHC47.2 billion to GHC42.7 billion using the Coronavirus pandemic as an excuse.
GRA’s half year performance missed the target by a little over a billion Ghana cedis as it recorded GHC19.9 billion against the target of GHC21 billion. This was when the coronavirus pandemic was ravaging all sectors of the economy at its peak, during the second quarter from March to June.
“We are working hard to achieve the target or better exceed it through the implementation of policies”, Rev. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, Commissioner General of GRA noted at a media interaction event organised by PRINPAG with support from GRA.
The mining sector (which saw gold price appreciating continuously over the last months), the telecommunications sector(through the communication service) and the financial sector contributed mostly to the half year performance of tax revenues collected.
However, the excise duties, mostly on consumables such as soft drinks, water, alcohol and others, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and income tax of SMEs underperformed during the half year.
Speaking on behalf of the PRINPAG at the event, Edwin Arthur lauded the willingness of the GRA to accept to meet and interact with media to help broaden and update one of the society’s watchdog players.
He called on the media to support the intention of PRINPAG to launch a campaign against tax evaders in the country which is denying the state of needed revenues to provide better and equitable socioeconomic infrastructure to benefit all classes of the citizens and foreigners in the country.
In solving the challenges of under-clearing and under-invoicing of some tax payers and also to address the complaints of taxpayers, the Authority has strengthened and increase the capacity of its Tax Audit and Quality Assurance Department to be able to do double checking of accounts of companies so they detect any deliberate or oversight malpractices to maximize tax collections. It will also be efficient in addressing clients’ complaints to ensure hassle free tax system for all.
The Authority has also rolled out the Integrated Tax Application Processing System (ITAPS), which an online tax payment system to help make tax filing easy and convenient to tax payers. Already, the Personal Income Tax was automated which currently has about 6000 users with over 5000 users filing their taxes through the system.
With these, the management of GRA believes it will help them to maximize tax collections and meet or exceed their target.