Business News of 2013-12-05

Individuals must also possess tax numbers

Individuals with taxable incomes are as obliged as businesses to have unique Tax Payers Identification Numbers. This is because by the close of 2014, the possession of that distinctive 11-digit number would be a requirement for certain important transactions, including securing travel visas.

Mr Nicholas Ofosu-Yeboah, Revenue Officer at the Ho Small Tax Office (STO) of the Domestic Tax Revenue Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) was speaking at a Tax Education Seminar in Ho on Wednesday.

He said businesses were personas on their own and that individuals working for those businesses even needed their own Tax Payers Identification Numbers. He said the old numbers were 10 digits while the new regime had 11 digits and configured to make their authenticity difficult to abuse.

Mr Ofosu-Yeboah noted that all one needed to get that number was a visit to the offices of the GRA to collect and fill forms giving personal details and providing a credible identification card for verification. Mr Nelson Dovoh, Head of Ho STO said the GRA was going through a transformation process to make it more efficient and responsive.

He said the GRA was using a comprehensive customer-centred approach to woo and retain clients as willful taxpayers. Mr Dovor said it was important therefore that small-tax payers, whose turnovers were not above Gh¢ 90,000 kept some records of operations to make assessments and operation-audits referable.

Mr Dovor said the GRA was aware that many small tax payers did not have the capacities to provide elaborate records of operations, but at least must produce some records. He said the GRA in its operations reflected integrity, demanding only what it should demand and expected that individuals and businesses that collected taxes on its behalf turned them over on schedule.

Mr Dovor said the GRA was positioned now than ever before to tackle various peculiar problems of taxpayers and that its doors were opened always. Mr Eric Awuni, Principal Revenue Officer, said the Tax Payer Services Units were meant to be one-stop shops for doing tax businesses.

He said the other categories of tax payers which partly underlined the emerging structures of the GRA were the Medium Tax Payers, with turnovers from Ghc 90,000.00 to Ghc 5million and Large Tax Payers, from Ghc 5million upwards. Ms Viola Gbagbo, Revenue Officer said taxpayers had rights that many were not aware of.

She said GRA’s dealings with taxpayers should be transparent, fair, nor overly and that they (taxpayers) had the right to spread payments on quarterly basis and also had the right to independent appeal.

Ms Gbagbo said while taxpayers had rights, they also had obligations which required them to present only the true records on their businesses. She said it was important that businesses informed the GRA when turnovers slumped.