The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), in collaboration with the Controller and Accountant General’s Department has commenced a sensitization exercise to educate its staff and clients on the new Withholding Value Added Tax (WVAT) mechanism.
When the mechanism becomes fully operational in October, government will collect a 15 percent of VAT upfront and pay the supplier of goods and services a net of 85 percent.
The Controller and Accountant General’s Department will then, at the end of the month, transfer the 15 percent VAT to government accounts.
‘’We will no longer ask the clients to pay but rather deduct the money at the source of transaction and then add it to the VAT at the end of the month and pay to GRA,’’ Mr. Eugene Ofosuhene, the Accountant General said.
He made this known in Accra during a sensitization workshop for the first batch of three regions; Greater Accra, Volta and Eastern Region on September 6.
Ofosuhene said the mechanism, which is a new method of collecting tax is to allow suppliers and providers of goods and services to government and institutions, to account for and pay VAT through the person making the payment.
Mr David Lartey Quarcoopome, Chief Revenue Officer at the Training and Development Department of the GRA revealed that, the Commissioner General of GRA will appoint Withholding VAT agents to withhold a portion of VAT on payments made to a registered supplier, who is a Standard Rate Operator; the agents will then remit to the Authority.
He said the exercise is to preempt Accountants General in government agencies to serve as a source to hold persons, who have not registered with the Authority, yet go on to transact businesses.
Commissioner-General of the GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti had earlier cautioned that the Authority will go tough on all tax defaulters and evaders after the end of the tax amnesty introduced earlier by government.
The last day for the submission of applications for the tax amnesty was August 31, 2018, Nti reminded businesses and all income-earning persons who failed to take advantage of the opportunity.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in his 2018 Mid-Year Budget Review said the Authority will undertake an audit of enterprises to ensure that the right taxes are levied and collected.
He added that GRA, in conjunction with the relevant authorities, will embark on an exercise to prosecute, apply appropriate sanctions and retrieve all government revenues held in abeyance by tax evaders and defaulters.
The Controller and Accountant General’s Department and GRA will take this month to train and create awareness for its staff and clients on WVAT in all 10 regions of the country.
By Mawuli Y. Ahorlumegah