Danquah Institute Economic Forum:Tax Revenue: Informal sector pays just 1% – Kofi Nti

The Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, has revealed that the informal sector of the Ghanaian economy contributes just one per cent to the total tax revenue.

With the unavailability of reliable data to capture individuals and businesses in the informal sector, Mr Nti said: “Our closest that we take for [the] informal [sector] is [the] self-employed and that is where our performance will goof. Prof. [Eugenia Amporfu] talked about 2 per cent but what we have is just 1 per cent, it is even worse”.

Mr Nti made this known at a Danquah Institute Economic Forum on the theme: ‘Bridging the gap between the formal and informal economy, the role of domestic revenue mobilisation in an era of Ghana Beyond Aid’, held at the College of Physicians and Surgeons on Friday, 10 May 2019.

Mr Nti said the total tax revenue for the informal sector is mainly captured nder the self-employed category, which makes “just about a percentage” of total tax revenue.

Per the Ghana Statistical Service’s definition, the informal sector is made up of businesses – across all sectors – which are not registered with the Registrar-General’s Department (RGD) and do not keep formal accounts.

With the informal sector estimated to be more than 60 per cent of the country’s economy, it means a large chunk of revenue which could have been harnessed from that sector is not collected.

Meanwhile, the GRA is targeting 4 million Tax Identity Number (TIN) registrations by the end of 2019.

Mr Nti said the GRA doubled the TIN registration by 2018 as against the 1 million recorded in 2017.

He said: “As of December 2017, people on the TIN were 1,170,384. However, by the end of December 2018, we had moved to just 364 away from 2 million. So, when you look at it critically, we have doubled the number of people on the TIN”.

Having achieved that mark, Mr Nti noted that the vision of the GRA for 2019 “is to also, again, double that TIN. So, our target for that area is 4 million”.

This, he stated, will help the GRA generate more domestic revenue for the country.