General News Wed, 25 Feb 2004

Large taxpayers Unit set to improve revenue collection and service

Accra, Feb. 25, GNA - Three hundred and sixty companies and organizations whose tax affairs would now be administered by a specialized unit have been identified and selected to form the nucleus of Ghana's Large Taxpayers Unit.

The Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU), comprising companies with an annual turnover in excess of 30 billion cedis and all employers with more than 500 employees are now to settle their tax obligations with this unit under the umbrella administration of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Value Added Tax (VAT) Service.

The purpose is to provide a fully integrated unit to facilitate the amalgamation of filling, processing and auditing functions of all large taxpayers that would link information and operations of the Custom Excise and Preventive Service, IRS and the VAT Service.

Launching the project, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Deputy Finance and Economic Planning Minister said Ghana's critical stage in her economic development required a sustained mobilisation of domestic resources to realize its projected revenues necessary to finance developmental projects and programmes.

He said the idea to set up the unit as is being done in most developed countries, was conceived in 2001 and in the 2002 budget, plans for its creation was elaborated by the Minister of Finance.

Mr Agyeman-Manu said the creation was part of a modernisation programme that would usher in an environment conducive for a fair, reasonable and transparent tax administration.

He noted that the purpose was not to witch-hunt or increase taxation on large taxpayers, but rather to improve revenue mobilization by ensuring that these large taxpayers receive premium on their issues.

On the benefits of the project, Mr Agyeman-Manu said it would provide a "one-stop-shop" for all tax matters, improve compliance with tax laws by ensuring that tax returns were filled on time and payment received on due dates as well as ensure equitable application of the tax laws.

He said it would eliminate duplication of efforts and provide modern services to taxpayers and encourage specialization in sectoral tax administration.

Source: GNA