Implement Employment Income Tax – Finance Minister Told

Isaac Nyame (2nd right) with some speakers at the event

A tax analyst, Isaac Nyame, has asked government to come clear on the new tax administration measures that will be put in place to ensure that employers comply with employment income tax requirements.

According to him, the employment income tax have not been effectively enforced over the years.

Mr. Nyame made this known during the Tax Seminar on the 2017 National Budget Statement at the Pentecost University College Graduate School last Friday.

The Finance Minister, Kenneth Ofori-Atta, indicated in the recent budget that only about one third of individuals in employment are captured by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

The government said it would address the problem by ensuring that all employers file Annual Tax Deduction Schedules.

The government also intends to reconcile relevant records at SSNIT and Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

This, according to the Minister, would help reduce the tendency of employers deducting SSNIT and PAYE payments from their employees’ salaries without remitting such amounts on timely basis.

However, the tax analyst believes that the Finance Minister was not clear on specific measures that would be put in place to deal with the situation.

“It is important for the government to come clear on the new tax administration measures that will be put in place to ensure that employers comply with this requirement since this requirement has been in our tax laws for a long time without effective implementation,” Mr. Nyame said.

Implementing Self-assessment Regimes

Mr. Nyame, who is also the Managing Consultant of Ikern & Associates, charged the GRA to intensify tax education and also build its own capacity for enforcing tax compliance, performing tax audits and investigations that go with successful self-assessment regimes.

The Finance Minister said government intends to pilot the self-assessment system in five selected Small Taxpayer Offices.

However, Mr. Nyame said many existing and potential taxpayers under the current self assessment system, which is presumably successful, are not aware of the compliance requirements of self assessment.

“The three percent turnover-based presumptive income tax regime as contained in the Second Schedule of the Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act 896) as amended should be implemented and punitive measures applied to non-compliant taxpayers to deter defaulters,” added.

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By Cephas Larbi

 

 

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