The Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti, has reiterated his outfit’s commitment to working assiduously to improve the country’s revenue mobilization.
He stressed that the Authority will continue to put in place various strategies which include simplifying processes and procedures, intensified education and improved service delivery to ensure voluntary compliance.
The Commissioner-General gave this assurance during a two-day training workshop which was organized for members of the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
The workshop, which was aimed at building the capacity of journalists on taxation and revenue mobilization, was held under the theme: “Bringing the Informal Sector into the Tax Net – The Role of the Media”.
According to him, the 2018 annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures released by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) indicate that out of the country’s total GDP of GH¢300.5 billion, the informal economy is worth some GH¢81.2 billion and is growing at 2.6 percent per annum.
The figure, which translates into 27 percent of GDP, means that more than a quarter of economic activities in the country fall outside the tax net.
This, he said, has reduced the domestic revenue mobilization target of the GRA, stressing that more work needed to be done to improve compliance.
Mr. Nti mentioned the development of an e-payment platform that will enable taxpayers in the informal sector to pay their taxes via mobile money and the Electronic Point of Sales Device to help capture VAT transactions on a real-time basis, as other interventions in the pipeline.
“We also employ the use of enforcement actions to complement our educational efforts to mobilize the needed revenue into the national kitty. We have also recently deployed the Integrated Tax Application and Preparation System (iTaPS), an online filing system to simplify the filing of returns,” he stated.
According to him, the Authority was collaborating with PRINGAG to galvanize the role of the media as key partners in GRA’s innovative ways to rope the informal sector into the tax net.
The GRA Boss also urged PRINGAG to help in the dissemination of tax information, the need for compliance and benefits of tax payment among others to their readers.
“There is the need for deliberate and sustained efforts on your part as members of the fourth estate of the realm to set the agenda on taxation, thereby creating the required awareness that will complement the Authority’s interventions and ultimately bring about attitudinal change with regard to tax issues,” he stressed.
Topics discussed during the workshop included the significance of Tax Identification Number (TIN), Penalties for Tax Evasion for Nation-building, Impact of Tax Waivers on Ghana’s Economy and Purchase of Vehicles; What to Look For/What to do/Temporary Vehicle Importation, among several others.