The Ghana Revenue Authority, (GRA), is hoping to raise up to GHS500 million through an amnesty regime it has instituted to widen the tax net and to meet the 2018 target of GHS39.8billion.
Tax defaulters who voluntarily submit tax returns of 2017 and pay up all assessed and outstanding taxes will not face any penalties under the new regime.
Potential tax payers who voluntarily register with the Authority, and files income tax returns for 2014, 2015 and 2016 will also not face sanctions for failing to register with the authority.
“We are going after the defaulters but while at that, we want them to also come in. It is going to be the last opportunity we have given because immediately you do not take advantage of the opportunity, you fall to the normal rules. We are in to draw as many people as we can voluntarily with a combination of vigorous pursuit of defaulters and at the same time opening the windows for others to come in.” Commissioner-General of the GRA, Mr. Emmanuel Nti told journalists at a press conference in Accra.
The Tax Amnesty Act was passed by Parliament in 2017, but previous exercises instituted after the passage, have not yielded much results.
But Nti is optimistic the new programme will achieve maximum results.
“What is different this time is that we’ve made it more flexible and we have mitigated the punishment aspect to allow people to come more voluntarily. All these measures are to ensure efficiency in our work, improve on the effectiveness of our work and with that we believe we can move forward in tax collection,” he stated.
Meanwhile the GRA has written to professional associations including the Ghana Medical Association and the Ghana Bar Association to provide details of members to enable the Authority track potential tax payers who are defaulting their tax obligations.
By Nana Oye Ankrah