Finance Minister Calls For Sustained Tax Education

Mr Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance, has asked Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to ensure aggressive and sustained public education to aid operators in the informal sector to become tax compliant.

He noted that tax compliant and voluntary tax conscious citizenry would help grow the economy through the generation of the needed domestic resources.

Addressing the 2013 Management Retreat of the GRA in Kumasi, Mr Terkper described the situation where only five per cent of those in the informal sector pay taxes as unacceptable.

The GRA would need to do more to rope in many potential taxpayers in the sector which, constitute about 70 per cent of the economy, into the tax net. He said the government’s focus on revenue generation for the fiscal year was to expand the tax base and improve efficiency in the tax administration.

It was therefore, pertinent for tax managers to adopt practical measures to bring operators in the informal sector, the worst offenders of tax evasion, into the net and plug all loopholes to prevent leakages in the system.

Mr Terkper gave the GRA high marks for exceeding its tax target for 2012 by 2.6 per cent and said even though 2013 would be challenging in view of the current energy crisis, government would provide every support to it to enable it meet its collection target.

The Authority collected a total revenue of GH¢11,743.19 million, last year. It has projected to rake in GH¢15,609.50 million, this year.

Mr George Blankson, Commissioner-General of the GRA, said the retreat was to review the programmes, activities and performance of the various Divisions for 2012 and strategise for 2013 on how to accelerate the pace of the on-going revenue reform.

He acknowledged that the energy crisis would negatively impact on the profit levels of businesses and affect their ability to pay taxes.

He gave the assurance that the reform and modernisation process would continue alongside capacity building programmes to equip the staff with the relevant skills to meet the complexities of the modern tax environment.

Mr Emmanuel Ernest Kesse, Board Chairman of GRA, praised the management and staff of the Authority for their hard work and dedication, which he said has helped to increase revenue generation for national development.

The Board would initiate practical policies and provide good policy direction to guide and enhance their performance, he said.