Mrs Mona Helen Quartey
Accra, March 23, GNA – The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has been urged to strengthen its enforcement and compliance processes to boost revenue mobilization to close the budget deficit.
The government has projected the 2015 budget deficit to rise to 7.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product due to a forecast of a decline in petroleum receipts.
Speaking at the GRA 2014 stakeholders’ awards night, Mrs Mona Helen Quartey, the Deputy Minister of Finance appealed to all taxpayers to be honest and truthful in the discharge of their tax obligations to enable government make up for the expected shortfall in earnings.
The stakeholders’ awards are to show appreciation to taxpayers and partners for their support to the revenue enhancing strategies of the GRA.
The Deputy Minister said recent distress actions by the Authority to retrieve taxes owed by recalcitrant taxpayers were a clarion call to those who inadvertently avoided the payment of taxes.
‘We must all support government to pursue the development agenda,’ she said, adding that the GRA had portrayed in its actions that it would be ready to reward where necessary and impose the necessary sanctions depending on the prevailing situation.
Mr Millison Narh, Deputy Governor Bank of Ghana, who chaired the awards ceremony, said tax mobilization was a collaborative effort between the tax administration and the taxpayer.
He said this explained why there was the need to work closely with development partners to mobilise the needed revenue for government’s development agenda.
Mr George Blankson, Commissioner-General of the GRA said the event to appreciate stakeholders who have made outstanding revenue contributions was the most important on the agency’s calendar.
He congratulated the winners and expressed the hope that the awards would encourage them to do even more in 2015 as well as encourage other taxpayers to feel motivated to do better.
He urged taxpayers who were yet to register for the new tax identification numbers to do so because it is the only way to ensure that the GRA provided the best of service to them.
GRA is in the middle of reforms being carried out and one of the key elements is to make the tax payer the centre of our operations.
‘We are now operating on the philosophy of tax harvesting, which means that when we are able to cultivate the tax payers we may harvest a lot more,’ Mr Blankson said.
The 2014 awards is on the theme: ‘Consolidating integration, promoting growth and enhanced revenue mobilization for national development’.
This year 13 corporate taxpayers, four embassies and development organisations were honoured for their contributions.
Scancom Limited emerged the overall best taxpayer in the large taxpayer category, while Ecobank Ghana and Kasapreko emerged second and third respectively.
Royal Bow Company Limited emerged the overall best taxpayer in the Customs Division, while British American Tobacco emerged the second best taxpayer in the customs division. The most improved taxpayer in the Customs Division went to Huawei Technologies, Ghana.
Other award winners included Wilmar Africa Limited and CAITEC Delta Limited.
The Kantamanto Traders Association, Danida, United Nations Development Programme and the GIZ received honorary awards.
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