GRA moves to widen tax net

Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti, Commissioner General, GRA

…targets 70% informal economy

In a bid to increase the country’s tax revenue, the Ghana Revenue Authority has moved to widen the tax net with a national tax campaign targeting the informal economy.

Out of six million registered tax payers nationwide, about 1.5 million of the number are regular tax payers.

The informal sector of the economy the GRA noted, constitutes 70 percent of tax payers, with the rest constituting the formal sector.

Though the informal sector is the largest in terms of operators, comprising 70 percent of the national economy, its contribution to tax revenue is however negligible, standing about two percent.

The GRA estimates that about 200,000 operators in the informal sector honour their tax obligations.

National Tax Campaign Launch

At the launch of the National Tax Campaign on Tuesday October 23 in Accra, GRA’s Commissioner General, Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti explained the need to widen the tax net to enable all potential tax payers to honour their tax obligations.

“Our tax campaign last year was meant to start a national conversation on tax issues. This time around, the campaign is about deepening and sustaining that conversation, recognizing the benefits of taxes and seeing tax payment as a national duty,” he said.

The campaign according to the GRA will last for the next six months, and will constitute stakeholder engagements, enforcement and compliance exercises, naming, shaming and prosecution of tax debtors.

“We expect that within the next six months, our campaign will create the necessary attitudinal change on tax payment among the citizenry,” the Commissioner General indicated.

The GRA as part of its vision to see a significant uplift in revenue performance in the next two years, is ready to bite as the tax amnesty to the public has just ended.

The authority is therefore cautioning the public to cooperate fully with the exercise by registering existing unregistered businesses, settling all outstanding tax liabilities, total compliance with VAT obligations and the provision of relevant information on unknown and hidden businesses.

Deputy Finance Minister

Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare, addressing participants at the programme, said there was the need to have an attitudinal change towards tax compliance.

“The country’s development and progress depends on how we aggressively honour our tax obligations. It is important that we change our attitudes as good citizens who pay taxes on regular basis,” she implored.

GRA 2018 tax target

The GRA has been tasked to collect in excess of GHS39 billion in tax revenue for the 2018 fiscal year.

As of August this year, the authority has mobilized an estimated GHS22.7 billion.

The launch of the national tax campaign could however increase the GHS39 billion target appreciably before close of year.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe