GRA gives final notice to tax defaulters

Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti, GRA's Commissioner General

…as August deadline for tax amnesty looms

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has said it will go tough on all tax defaulters after the August 31, 2018 tax amnesty deadline.

The GRA maintained that all businesses and income earning persons must take advantage of the amnesty provision, failure of which will attract various sanctions and prosecution.

In March this year, the authority disclosed it was expecting to rake in over GHS300 million from the ongoing tax amnesty policy by government.

However, GRA’s Commissioner General, Mr. Kofi Nti, at a media briefing yesterday on the Mid-Year Budget Review Tax Policy in Accra, noted that the level of compliance on the amnesty policy is somehow below expectations.

He said “it must be emphasized that we have the capacity to identify all potential taxpayers and those who are not compliant. I wish to say that being under the radar is not a way of escape, because GRA will vigorously pursue all tax defaulters including prosecuting them when the amnesty period ends.”

The Commissioner noted that the upcoming deadline will be the last time the GRA and the government is offering a tax amnesty for defaulting businesses and persons.

Nti therefore, called on all persons and institutions earning income, who have defaulted in registering with GRA, to take advantage of the situation, adding “come and regularize and pay your taxes.”

Highlighting on the issue of the GRA’s possible taxing of churches in the future, he said, the authority is still working to design models that will determine which activities in churches constitute business operations and which criteria to consider when taxing them.

“In so doing we want to re-announce that the authority have some attractive packages for informants who will give out information on potential tax defaulting individuals and institutions” Nti added.

The policy measures proposed by the Finance Minister in the Mid-Year Budget have subsequently been passed into law.

GRA’s Commissioner General, Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti addressing the media

The measures are the restructuring and delinking of the national health insurance levy and the Ghana Education Trust Fund levy from the main VAT, and the introduction of a new band in the personal income tax rates.

Instructively, Parliament has passed into law the following; the Value Added Tax (Amendment Act, 2018) Act 970, the National Health Insurance (Amendment) 2018, Act 971, the Ghana Education Trust Fund (Amendment Act), Act 2018, Act 972) and the Income Tax (Amendment) Act 2018, (Act 973).

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe