Finance Minister backs GRA’s new initiatives to increase tax mobilisation

By Julius K. Satsi, GNA

Accra, Sept. 15, GNA – The Ghana Revenue
Authority (GRA) has introduced ‘the Ghana Revenue Enhancement and
Transformation (GREAT) project’ to improve upon professionalism through change
in tax management processes.

Mr Ken Ofori-Attah, the Minister for Finance
addressing a GRA forum for top 100 taxpayers in Accra said government was fully
behind the Authority’s initiative to prosecute tax defaulters and evaders.

He urged all taxpayers particularly; the
taxpayers at the Large Taxpayers Office to set good examples in tax compliance
because taxes were essential for nation building and that government would like
to see taxpayers as development partners who play critical roles in domestic
revenue mobilisation.

Mr Ofori-Attah said the GRA was able to
collect GH¢16.84 billion between January and June, this year against a target
of GH¢17.95 billion; meaning actual collections experienced a GH¢1.1billion
(6.18 per cent) shortfall.

He added that, with the new projections, GRA
was obliged to collect GH¢23.38 billion over the half-year to enable Government
meets its revenue target of GH¢40.22 billion for the year.

He said Government’s strategy for revenue
mobilisation was to enhance performance by the automation of systems, plugging
of leakages, improving tax compliance and administration, the review of taxes,
and the reorientation of work ethics in line with the country’s traditional
laws.

He said, Government was backing the GREAT
initiative because, information from Large Taxpayers Office showed that while
some firms were compliant, other were not, adding, “Filing rates for corporate
taxes, for example, fell from 65 per cent in 2016 to approximately 40 per cent
in 2017”.

Mr Ofori-Attah said with the contribution of
large taxpayers to domestic tax mobilisation exceeding 60 per cent, any default
or delay in the payment of taxes by them posed a danger to the implementation
and realisation of government’s development agenda.

Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, the Commissioner General
of GRA said, the project was in response to the urgent need to change GRA’s
systems to be comparable to the best in revenue administration in the world
through simplifying tax payment process and introducing innovation.

He said the transformational process was also
focused on investing heavily in the training of staff of the GRA to build
skills and building a mindset of constant improvement through sourcing for
ideas to change as well as improve GRA.

Mr Nti said there was the urgent need to
increase revenue mobilisation to meet growing expenditure, adding that, it
could only be achieved through cooperation with the public particularly with
taxpayers at the Large Taxpayers Office.

He said, the days of impunity about
non-compliance with tax laws were over, adding, “GRA will henceforth go after
tax defaulters and evaders with full application of the tax laws especially
with the grace period granted through the tax amnesty having expired”.

As part of the new initiatives, the
Commissioner General said, GRA would be naming and shaming tax defaulters,
amidst full application and imposition of sanctions including prosecutions,
garnishing and distress actions.

GNA

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