Ghana Beyond Aid is achievable, if revenue collection agencies put their shoulders to the wheel, deal with taxpayers with integrity and resolve to perform for the State, Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti, Commissioner-General of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has stated.
He made the remark at the second National delegates Congress of Ghana Revenue Authority Workers Union (GRAWU) at Winneba.
The Congress on the theme “Widening the Tax Net to Achieve Ghana Beyond Aid-The Role of Labour”, offered the opportunity for the members to take stock of their achievement and failures and also strategised to consolidate the achievement chalked and institute measures to improve on areas where they fell short.
He said it was the expectation of Management of the GRA that GRAWU members would continue to work harder and more diligently to facilitate the achievement of this year’s accelerated target of GHc49.40 billion.
“While I congratulate GRAWU for your co-operation and collaboration with management in realising our collective revenue mobilisation goal”, I urge you to do more to let your rank and file appreciate that we swim or sink together”, Mr. Nti noted.
He described last year as “very eventful” for the GRA which enforced many tax policy initiatives including; the TIN registration, Excise Tax Stamp, Tax Amnesty, delinking National Health Insurance Levy and the GETFUND from VAT and Personal Income tax Rates for Resident individuals.
Mr Nti said, such tax policy initiatives were all aimed at boosting revenue collection, saying it was the desire of the GRA to broaden the tax net and the National Tax Campaign launched in October, 2018 was aimed at educating operators within the informal sector to continuously honour their tax obligations voluntarily.
“It is our expectation that the campaign would help to significantly and positively change and affect peoples’ attitudes towards tax payment and help to expand the tax net and improve voluntary compliance, and it is my hope that the citizenry will see payment of taxes as sacred civic and national responsibility”, he stressed.
The Commissioner General announced that as part of measures to enhance revenue mobilisation, 10,000 National Builders Corps (NABCO) recruits posted to the GRA had been trained and posted to various departments of the Authority.
He said despite all the efforts to step up revenue generation in 2018, it fell short in its target and suggested that different approaches were adopted to improve the collection nets in 2019 and beyond.
“Let us resolve right from the beginning that we will considerably increase compliance activities such as; distress actions to recover debts, and periodic pay visits to taxpayers’ premises to understand them, to help them to come out with strategies on how to pay their taxes and to deal with the different category of taxpayers.
“Our success or otherwise as a revenue administration depends on our collective efforts as management and labour and it is only positive achievements in revenue mobilisation that will determine whether the phrase ‘broaden the tax net’ has become a cliché as some believe”, He added.