The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says it will prosecute people who evade taxes through unlawful practices.
Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, said the move is to help government achieve its revenue target for the year, expand the tax base, improve efficiency in tax administration, reduce cost and enhance services to taxpayers.
“I believe it’s time we change this culture of impunity with respect to our tax laws,” he added.
He disclosed this at a forum organised by GRA for top taxpayers on its transformation agenda.
The agenda-Ghana Revenue Enhancement and Transformation (GREAT)- which is the initiative of the Commissioner-General, is to significantly shore up revenue collection for the next two years.
He stressed the need to change GRA’s systems to simplify processes and introduce innovation, invest heavily to train GRA staff to improve their skills and build a mindset of constant improvement to change and improve the performance of GRA.
The Finance Minister said the focus of government’s economic management strategy is to use tax policy to support production.
The strategy, according to him, is aimed at stimulating growth in the private sector to accelerate job creation and prosperity.
“In line with this, government reduced the tax burden by more than GH¢1 billion by abolishing some taxes and restructuring others.
Mr Ofori-Atta averred that government was determined to widen the tax net in order to make taxation fairer and simpler, while ensuring that the simplified automated process makes it convenient for citizens to meet their tax obligations.
Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Emmanuel Kofi Nti, said his outfit would significantly increase revenue mobilization to meet growing expenditure.
He told the top taxpayers that the days of non-compliance with the tax laws were over, as GRA would henceforth go after tax defaulters and evaders after the expiration of the grace period granted through the tax amnesty.
“As big players in the economy, there is the perception out there that through tax planning, some of you engage in tax avoidances schemes, particularly through transfer mispricing with related parties, especially in relation to services and procurement to shortchange the economy. This is the time to streamline your taxes by making substantial tax payments to them to expand the tax base.”