Business News of Tuesday, 27 January 2015
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is aiming to collect GH¢21.98billion as revenue target for 2015, after failing to meet the 2014 revenue target by a 2.7 percent shortfall.
The expected revenue target for 2015 is estimated to yield ‘Domestic Direct Tax of GH¢8.95billion, Domestic Indirect Tax of GH¢5.10billion and Customs of GH¢7.92billion’.
The Authority said a total of GH¢17.12billion in revenue was generated in 2014, representing 97.3 percent of the targetted revenue of GH¢17.61billion for 2014.
The Commissioner General of GRA, Mr. George Blankson, attributed the deficit of 2.7 percent in the revenue collected to a number of economic challenges which were witnessed in the country during the year under review.
He noted for instance that the global fall in price of minerals with its resultant effect on job-cuts and payment of royalties and corporate tax; energy challenges leading to layoffs and low levels of production; the deferment of implementing VAT on fee-based financial services among others were a drag on revenue collection in the past year.
However, despite these challenges which resulted in the GRA’s inability to attain its revenue target for the second consecutive year, the Commissioner General was very optimistic for the Authority’s prospects in 2015.
He said the expected roll-out of the Total Revenue Integrated Processing Systems (TRIPS) electronic platform for the administration of domestic taxes to all offices nationwide, as well as broadening the adoption of self-assessment to cover all MTOs and large STOs are positive measures that will propel the GRA to realise its revenue target for 2015.
In a chat with B&FT during the ‘2015 Management Retreat’ in Kumasi, Mr. Blankson expressed worry that the fall in oil prices on the world market could affect expected revenue from off-stream petroleum industries if lower prices persist through the year.
According to Mr. Blankson, this year’s Management Retreat was held earlier to enable the Authority to fully implement the ‘Action Plan’ that will emerge from the retreat.
The ceremony was organised under the theme “GRA 2nd Strategic Plan 2015-2017: Implementation at the Operational Level”.
Addressing participants at the forum, the Commissioner General emphasised that addressing shortage of the Authority’s manpower will impact positively in attaining revenue targets for the year.
To this end, he said the Authority will continue with the recruitment drive initiated last year to revamp GRA’s human resources, as well as support ongoing efforts to resource the training academy at Kpetoe.
He also said introduction of the Special Petroleum Tax, implementation of VAT fee-based financial services and several other revenue protection measures introduced in 2014 and 2015 will create a favorable environment for enhanced revenue collection.
The Minister of Finance Mr. Seth Terkper commended the board, management and staff of the GRA for their performance despite the challenges which confronted the country.
He also repeated that the country risks losing some revenue, mainly petroleum revenues, as the result of a global fall in price of oil.
He said the President has ordered a review of the 2014 budget estimates, in order not to repeat the mistakes of 2012 when the budget lines were not reviewed early, and make an analysis of the likely impact to Cabinet.
He said this will provide Cabinet the opportunity to take some decisions which will likely result in going back to Parliament with a statement to review the economic targets on the revenue and expenditure side that were submitted in December, last year.