Business News of Wed, 31 Jan 20182
GRA hits one million Taxpayer Identification Numbers milestone
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has so far issued over a million taxpayers with a new Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) since the introduction of the regime.
In 2017, over 258,000 new TINs were issued, an increase of 68% compared to the same period in 2016.
The millionth new TIN was issued at the Nkawkaw Small Taxpayer Office (STO) on December 14, 2017, marking another milestone in the operations of GRA’s new computerised tax system, tripsTM, managed by GCNet on behalf of the Government of Ghana.
TIN issuance has been boosted by the nationwide rollout of tripsTM, which is now live in a total of 59 offices across nine regions of Ghana.
According to Scott Murray, the e-Tax Project Manager at GCNet, the milestone was a significant step towards widening the tax net in government’s efforts to increase revenue mobilisation for accelerated development.
All persons and entities who have any dealings with the GRA are required to register for a TIN; it may be obtained free of charge from any GRA office. Applicants are expected to provide a clear copy of a valid identity card (National ID Card, Voters Card, Driving License or Passport), together with the original ID itself.
The tripsTM integrates seamlessly with a number of other government systems, including the National Identification Authority, and Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), for the automated validation of individual identity documents; Registrar-General’s Department for the automated creation of Company TINs and sharing of company directors and shareholders data; GRA Customs Division for the identification of importers and exporters; and Controller and Accountant-General’s Department for revenue reporting.
Meanwhile, the component of domestic tax collection mobilised and processed through GCNet’s tripsTM in 2017 hit GH¢16 billion, representing a 32 per cent increase over the same period in 2016.
There has been a sustained increase in the component of domestic tax collection processed through tripsTM over the past four years, from GH¢3 billion that was recorded in 2014 to almost GH¢9 billion in 2015 and to almost GH¢12 billion in 2016.
The increase in tax collection through tripsTM has been achieved with the further deployment of more than 45 new offices by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in 2017, bringing the total number of Live Offices now using tripsTM to 59.
The tripsTM is a software for tax administration under the e-Government project, headed by the Ministry of Communication under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance.
The tripsTM seeks to streamline and bring transparency to the business operations of the GRA Domestic Tax Revenue Division (DTRD).
The highest monthly collection of GH¢2.6 billion was recorded in December 2017, followed by the second highest of GH¢1.7 billion in Sept 2017.
During the same period in 2016, GH¢1.5 billion and GH¢1.1 were mobilised respectively.
Data available also indicates that monthly collection was over the GH¢1 billion threshold in 10 months of the year, with February and May being slightly lower.
The operationalisation of 59 out of 69 tax offices represents a nationwide presence, which has facilitated enhanced coverage in terms of the tax net, enabling greater revenue mobilisation.
The nationwide roll-out is a landmark achievement for the GRA and the country, marking the first time that Ghana has had a nationwide computerised tax system.
The expanded roll out of tripsTM across all offices of the Domestic Tax Revenue Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority nationwide will enhance revenue mobilisation efforts in 2018, helping to meet national development needs.
The deployment of tripsTM is part of the bigger e-Government solution developed and deployed concurrently for the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Registrar-General’s Department in 2011 by Ghana Community Network Services Limited (GCNet), with a self-service portal that provides online services to Citizens.
The system supports a full range of tax administration functions, including Registration, Returns Processing, Automated Compliance, Collections, Taxpayer Accounting, Revenue Accounting, Refunds, Risk Management, Case Management, Audit, Objections and Appeals.