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Nana B 'attacks' GRA over tax collection approach in Ashanti region

Henry Nana Boakyefdd Henry Nana Boakye

Wed, 12 Oct 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Henry Nana Boakye, National Organiser of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), has chastised the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for stationing its officers at shops, restaurants, and other businesses to record sales of products for tax purposes.

Nana B as he is known popularly is of the view that the strategy would have been justified only if it was targeted at businesses that ample evidence shows have been evading or under-declaring their taxes.

In a statement issued via his social media handle, he said, “widespread approach of stationing revenue officers at businesses is counterproductive, oppressive, repressive, and suppressive.”

“We are not in normal times – businesses and individuals are bearing the brunt of the twin global crisis and their concomitant economic agony – and the least expected from GRA is to police traders whom no tax evasion findings have been made against.”

“In this day of technology, GRA should adopt welcoming and pleasant ways of revenue collection strategy that engenders revenue assurance. This strategy is weak and lame since Revenue Officers stationed at these shops and businesses can be compromised to aid owners to evade or under-declare their taxes. GRA should rather strive to reduce human contact in revenue collection and employ technological solutions to take taxes from businesses,” Nana B added.

In his view, the Public Relations unit of GRA must do better by way of educating the public on the importance of paying taxes.

“Paying taxes is not a pleasant thing and for that matter, a responsive PR approach must be adopted to educate the tax-paying population about their programmes and activities.”

Background

The GRA from Saturday 1st October 2022 started using a certified invoicing system for the administration of Value Added Tax (VAT) in Ghana.

This forms part of efforts to increase tax compliance and generate more revenue for the state.

A Certified Invoicing System is an electronic invoicing system (E-VAT) certified by the Commissioner-General per the VAT Act 870 as amended.

Speaking at a briefing ceremony before the exercise, Kwesi Eghan, Deputy Commissioner, Operations-DTRD, said the malls are part of some 50 selected tax-paying companies that are supposed to be enrolled on the system.

He said, so far, about 25 of these companies are complying but the rest are yet to register onto the system.

The deadline for registration is dependent on the phased implementation which started on 1st October 2022.

He said all newly-registered taxpayers will henceforth be on-boarded to the E-VAT System.

The exercise will be done in a phased process that covers 600 large taxpayers in the first phase.

The 600 firms being targeted under the phase include listed companies, and they altogether generate more than 90 percent of VAT revenue and 80 percent of domestic revenue.

The e-invoicing exercise is expected to cover medium-sized taxpayers by 2023 before being extended to all businesses in 2024.

Unlike the manual system, the e-invoicing system allows the GRA to monitor live transactions in companies where it has been deployed; thereby making it impossible for taxpayers to either under-invoice or dodge the payment of VAT.

GRA estimates show that the country’s VAT contributions to tax revenue could be increased significantly from the current 17 percent if the various cases of abuse that the manual invoicing system is prone to are decisively dealt with.

“We want to improve compliance. We are more interested in collaboration than chaining businesses to pay their taxes. But we have no option at this moment than to move swiftly to ensure the right thing is done,” he said.

Find Nana B's full post below



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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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