2018 was for tax amnesty, this year for tax crime prosecutions – GRA

Mr. Henry Yentumi

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is opting for the prosecution route after adopting the tax amnesty path last year with little success.

The tax agency was unsuccessful with the tax amnesty rolled out in 2018 to enable tax payers effect payment of outstanding arrears when it failed to meet its 2018 tax revenue target.

The amnesty programme activated from February 2018 to September of same year was to enable erring individuals and businesses to pay their tax debt without a penalty but despite the olive branch being extended, the authority though won’t mention how much was retrieved through the programme, acknowledges it wasn’t as successful as envisioned.

Some had cast doubt over the policy’s ability to reduce tax evasion while some reckoned the policy could increase tax compliance. The tax amnesty bill which seeks to improve voluntary compliance among taxpayers was passed in December 2017.

Under the law, defaulting businesses were allowed to pay a revised tax obligation that they had been in default for a period of time.

Technical Advisor to the Commissioner General, Henry Yentumi mentioned in an earlier interview the scope of the policy.

“First is to set the base line, we must come out in terms of our taxpayer numbers, the revenue that we expect which is also part of the thinking of promoting the amnesty as well as scheduling the various processes including the guidelines.”

Mr. Henry Yentumi now submits the general response was not positive as the authority had hoped all leading to missing its 2018 revenue target.

“The GRA is prosecuting tax crimes this year and with the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN); in force, tax defaulters will face the law,” he assured.

By Michael Eli Dokosi/goldstreetbusiness.com