GRA Steps Up Domestic Tax Revenue Collection

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has stepped up its engagement with businesses in the regions to reduce tax default and promote compliance. This follows growing evidence of the reluctance of businessmen and corporate entities outside Accra to live up to their tax obligations. Nii Ayi Aryeetey, Deputy Commissioner, Domestic Tax Revenue Division of GRA, described collection performance in the regions as “not encouraging” and said things need to change. It is estimated that more than 90 per cent of the total domestic tax revenue collected by the Authority including import and export duties, excise, value added tax, communication service and corporate tax are concentrated mainly in the Greater Accra Region. Nii Aryeetey, who was speaking at a day’s pre-budget consultative meeting of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in Kumasi, deplored what he said, was the blatant refusal by many businesses to file their tax returns and said that would no longer be accepted. The meeting brought together companies in the informal sector and civil society organisations (CSOs) to gather information on tax policies and assess the fiscal impact on the economy. It was also meant to provide the platform for the participants to make an input into the next national budget. Nii Aryeetey spoke of the introduction of tax amnesty, a limited opportunity for taxpayers, who had defaulted in filing their tax returns to do so without having to pay a penalty or interest. This would, however, elapse by the close of September and he urged defaulters to take advantage of the facility to escape punitive sanctions. The amnesty is part of efforts aim at improving tax compliance and culture to bring in more revenue. Nii Aryeetey said it is important for Ghanaians to recognise that no country had achieved economic success without good tax policies and the readiness of the people to pay their taxes.