The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) exceeded its tax mobilization target of GH¢21.57 billion for 2015 despite the economic challenges in 2015 caused mainly by the erratic supply of electricity.
Commissioner-General of GRA, George Blankson, at a press soiree in Accra on Wednesday, said the 2015 performance represented 29.3 percent over the 2014 collection.
He said the government has set a target of GH¢27.6 billion, made up of GH¢17.4 billion for domestic division and GH¢10.2 billion for the customs division for 2016.
“2015 was a challenging year. The electricity crisis affected industry but it was in the same year we registered an achievement as well as getting a number of tax laws passed.”
He said as part of efforts to deepen the legislative reforms and modernize the country’s taxation outlook, the government, through the Ministry of Finance, had introduced the new Value Added Tax Law, Excise Law, Customs Law and the Income Tax Act.
“We are rewriting all our tax laws to make them user-friendly and in conformity with modern tax laws,” he said.
Mr. Blankson also said that the government was working out the administrative provision that would enable the authority to ‘harmonise’ all the tax laws under one Act, saying “there is now harmony with the passage of all the laws, with the exception of the Revenue Administrative Act which we are working around the clock to get Parliament to pass it.”
He said GRA had completed what he called the ‘Strategic Plan’ and was zooming into Phase II of the plan to modernize tax administration.
“We developed a new electronic platform for the administration of all domestic taxes. We have also started piloting the Total Revenue Integration Processing System (TRIPS), and it is currently running in 13 offices and we are targeting additional 26 offices for this year.”
He said that GRA is consolidating the gains made by constituting the National Single Window System to enhance revenue generation.
“We have implemented the Common External Tariff (CET) set for the ECOWAS countries. It started on February 1, 2016 and our overall position is that it is proceeding well,” he said.
Mr. Blankson said that the Excise Tax Stamp policy that would ensure effective monitoring in the sub-region was being pursued.
By William Yaw Owusu