GRA ups voluntary tax compliance to support

The Central Region Office of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has said it would continue to run after taxpayers using coercion to ensure voluntary compliance of their tax obligations without compulsion.

This, they indicated, was pivotal to rake in more revenue to support the President’s vision of stimulating economic growth and stability under the “Ghana beyond aid” agenda.

Mr George Amankwah Boateng, Assistant Commissioner with the Regional GRA Medium Taxpayers Office, gave the assurance at the Regional launch of the 2018 tax and good governance advocacy programme, on Thursday in Cape Coast.

The week-long programme was themed: “Filling your tax returns, your civic responsibility”.

It afforded the opportunity for Mr Kwamena Duncan, the Regional Minister and Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, Omanhen of Oguaa Traditional Area among others, to file their tax returns as stipulated under the law.

Mr Amankwah promised that the Authority will redouble its efforts at educating the taxpayer population, to fully understand their rights and responsibilities of various tax policies and the need to honour them.

The move was to among others, create accessible and convenient location for tax payers to file their tax returns, bring GRA services closer to taxpayers, make filling simpler and less costly, while working to demystify office procedures to increase filling rate to enhance revenue generation.

To achieve that, he said a number of tax compliance measures have been adopted including tax amnesty, electronic point of sale device (EPOSD), excise tax stamp, withholding tax on VAT supplies and purchase by appointed agents, tax holiday for young entrepreneurs and the final roll out of the Total Revenue Integrated Processing System (TRIPS).

The Assistant Commissioner of GRA appealed to persons who were yet to register for the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to take steps to do so as it begins the enforcement of the law.

With effect from April 1, 2018, a person without the TIN, an 11-digit unique number given to identify Taxpayers and enable GRA to credit them whenever they pay their taxes, cannot open a bank account, file a case in court, acquire a passport or obtain a driver’s licence.

The person will also be unable to register a vehicle, clear goods in commercial quantities from the ports or register any title to land or any document affecting land.

Other services for which the TIN is needed include registration of company at the Registrar General’s Department or any District Assembly office; receiving any payment from the Controller and Accountant General or a District Assembly in respect of a contract for the supply of any goods or provisions of any services.

The Assistant Commissioner of GRA was full of praise for the Regional Minister and Osabarima Kwesi Atta among others for filling their tax returns and urged all others to do same as stipulated under the law.

He stated that the Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act 896) and Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act 915) mandates all eligible persons to file their tax returns with the Commissioner-General not later than four months after the year of assessment.

Mr Kwamena Duncan, the Regional Minister for his part, commended the tax education policy by GRA as a great tool for mobilising revenue for development.

He stated that revenues have not been able to keep up with development demands while concessional loans and support kept dwindling, thus creating a deficit which has to be bridged through Government borrowing, grant and donor aids.

That notwithstanding, he reiterated the President’s vision to reinvigorate all the social intervention programmes and policies to create equal opportunities and prosperity for all.

GNA