GRA exceeds 2015 revenue target by GHC620m
Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) exceeded its revenue collection target by a whopping GHC620 million last year, representing 2.9 per cent more than its target for the year.
Commissioner-General of GRA, George Blankson disclosed this at a soirée for news editors, saying the target for last year was GHC21.57billion but the Authority collected GHC22.17billion.
He said the increase was a clear sign that the economy grew in 2015 in spite of general complaints of economic hardship across country.
George Blankson listed 12 main reasons for the feat the GRA chalked, and they included increase in the number of audits, regular external visits to taxpayers' businesses, hard work by revenue mobilization task force and support from Ministry of Finance among others.
He also singled out the media for special praise, saying "education through the media to taxpayers particularly helped to improve taxpayer voluntary compliance."
The Commissioner-General said this year the revenue collection target is GHC27.59billion, comprising ofGHC17.429 billion direct and indirect domestic tax and GHC10.159 billion Customs taxes and duties.
George Blankson is confident they will exceed that as well because of the tried and tested measures they have put in place to boost revenue collection.
He said the measures include the takeover of the classification, valuation and risk management by Customs Division from the Destination Inspection Companies, and that contributed significantly to the 2015 revenue even though the takeover was just in September, so it is expected to yield even higher dividends this year.
Other measures include the intensification of public education, harmonization of tax regulations and laws to make implementation and application easier and friendlier as well as a boost in the work of the revenue mobilization task force.
George Blankson said GRA would also implement the Excise Tax Stamp (ETS) system from this year, explaining that the ETS is not a new tax, but a new way of better administration of excise tax by placing the ETS on all exciseable items both domestically and from abroad.
Touching in the Common External Tariff (CET), which has got many importers worried about increased taxes, the Commissioner-General explained that the CET is a tax harmonization system across the West African Sub-Region.
"The way it works is that to ensure harmony taxes on some imports have been reduced while others have gone up so those who import goods on which taxes have gone up are the ones complaining but those importing goods on which taxes have gone down are quiet," he said.
George Blankson urged the media to continue to assist the GRA in educating the public about their tax obligations and about the changing tax regimes to help boost voluntary compliance among taxpayers.