GRA to commence implementation of Upfront Payment Policy from June 6

Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA)
Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA)

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) will from June 6, 2023  commence the implementation of the Upfront Payment Policy across the country.

The Policy,  which is a compliance measure, is meant for importers of taxable goods, who are required to register for VAT,  but have failed to do so.

The unregistered importers of goods become liable when they import taxable goods with a custom value of GHS200,000.00 and above per consignment.

Mr Edward Appenteng Gyambrah, Commissioner, Head of Domestic Tax Division,  GRA said the Authority was in the process of introducing some new compliance measures.

Mr Gyambrah was speaking at engagement with the media as part of a sensitisation agenda to educate journalists on the new initiatives been introduced.

He said the Upfront Payment Policy and the Excise duty Amendment Act were not new taxes but measures been rolled out to mobilise revenue to meet the GHC106 billion revenue target for 2023.

The Commissioner said there had been major stakeholder engagements with GUTA, AGI, Association of Custom House Agents and Association of Freight Forwarders among others.

He said the Upfront Payment  could be avoided if the importers voluntarily comply with the payment of tax.
Mr Wisborn Koranteng, a Technical  Committe Member of the Upfront Payment team, said the Upfront payment would be charged at the rate of 12.50 per cent on the customs value of transaction on taxable goods imported into the country for home consumption, taxable uncustomed goods forfeited auctioned and taxable goods on transfer from bonded facilities.

He said the rationale was to assure tax compliance and identify non-compliant taxpayers.
He said it was also to bring parity in the treatment between VAT registered taxpayers, who charge the tax on their imported goods on the domestic front, and unregistered importers of taxable goods who did not charge VAT on their domestic supplies.

Mr Koranteng said the upfront payment would not apply to: exempt imports, relief Imports, personal use and not to be consumed in the Country.

“Affected importers may visit the closest DTRD Taxpayer Service Centre near them to regularize their tax affairs before making an import or a declaration to Customs in order to avoid the sanction,” he added.

He said importers, who claimed they were not liable to make the upfront Payment, might apply to the Commissioner-General, stating the reason(s) in the ICUMS Single Window Portal for exclusion from the charge.

He said an application for recovery of the upfront payment should be submitted within 30 days after the date on which the payment was made.

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