Government must work with GRA to block leakages – PwC

Business News of Sunday, 12 March 2017

Source: citibusinessnews.com

2017-03-12

Ken Ofori Atta VettingFinance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Government has been advised to work closely with the Ghana Revenue Authority(GRA) if it intends to block leakages in the revenue systems to generate additional one billion cedis annually.

The 2017 budget statement targets about 30 percent improvement in revenue generation particularly at the ports while the tax exemptions announced is projected to cost 2.5 billion cedis this year.

Speaking to Citi Business News, a Partner and Tax Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, George Kwatia stated that government must work with the GRA to improve compliance if even at 50 percent efficiency level to recoup half of the tax relief.

“Obviously if you ensure that compliance is adhered to and you avoid leakages out of certain malpractices, you should be able to make up that gap. The system is already being set and the issue we have as a challenge is that there isn’t any high level of compliance and when we get full gear of compliance, even with 50 percent efficiency level, it will be significant,” he said.

He disclosed that the country loses about 2.5 billion cedis annually through tax exemptions which are fully complied with.

“On issues of exemption it estimated that as country we lose about 2.5 billion cedis through exemptions which we are not fully in compliance with.”

Mr. Kwatia advised that it will be important for government to streamline the exemption system to enhance tax compliance.

“If we are able to streamline and even save half of it [money]. Then we going to get straight away more than one billion cedis coming in as revenue without any additional taxes being introduced. It is just a mere strengthening of the exemption system and making sure that those who have to enjoy the exemptions do not necessarily abuse it,” he said.

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