The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), says it has begun deploying Taxpayer Service Centre (TSCs) to make tax payment easier.
Rev. Amishaddai Owusu-Amoah, Acting Commissioner General, recently told journalists in Accra that the move is part of a restructuring by the GRA.
“As part of the GRA’s Transformational Agenda, which focuses on People, Technology and Service, various strategic initiatives have been rolled out in furtherance of our vision to become a world class revenue organisation. The Domestic Tax Revenue Division (DTRD) commenced the first phase of a nationwide restructuring exercise in Accra and Kumasi in August. The aim of this exercise was to implement some of the feedback we have received from taxpayers on improving service delivery to them.
“Now taxpayers will be able to file returns at the nearest Taxpayer Service Centre (TSCs) irrespective of turnover. This will create convenience for taxpayers and free them to use their time for other productive ventures. The aim is to establish offices not on the basis of turnovers as it was previously but rather with respect to jurisdiction.
“At the TSCs, taxpayer can file returns, make payments, register for TIN and tax types, make complaints, enquiries and receive tax education. TSCs will be supported by Area Offices whose mandate is an Administrative, Audit and Enforcement functions. The topic will be treated in the course of this evening’s programme so I will not go into much detail,” he said.
The Ag. Commissioner General was addressing a workshop by the Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG). It was under the theme: “Tax Compliance and the COVID-19 Pandemic – The Role of the media.”
According to him, the GRA is restructuring because it cannot afford to do things as usual.
“As an Authority, we cannot continue to do business as usual, thus, we have put in place a number of measures to ensure that we attain our 2020 revenue target of GHC 42.7 billion. We are determined as an organization to collectively put our shoulders to the wheel as we roll out some of the policies we will be discussing this evening to achieve our ‘challenge’ target of GHC 55 million in these ‘not normal times,” he said.
For the first half of 2020, the total revenue clawed in was GHC19, 955.31M as against a target of GHC21, 423.14M resulting in a negative deviation of 6.9%. For the period, Domestic tax collected GHC15, 397.05M out of a budgeted target of GHC 14,773.76, while Customs collected GHC4, 558.26M out of the GHC 6,649.38 target.
“the Authority together with the Ministry of Finance in June 2020 inaugurated the Tax Audit and Quality Assurance Department which was set up to ensure improved quality of audits and revenue assurance. The Department will manage the centralized audit planning process, serve as the audit center of excellence, monitor and ensure quality audit across the operational Divisions and investigate significant tax gaps including cases of suspected tax evasion, avoidance and fraud. In this regard we encourage you to report cases of tax fraud and tax evasion to us for investigation and rewards.
“As you are aware, this year, the GRA deployed an end-to-end Customs
administration system – the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS)
at the ports which attracted lot of media attention due to concerns from various
stakeholders. Customs duties can be paid in over five banks. Thankfully, the
initial challenges that were encountered have been largely resolved and the
objective of ensuring that we have a more efficient management and collection
of customs duties and taxes is being achieved. This will also be looked at in
detail as part of the presentations.
Meanwhile, he said 1,630,900 people acquired Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs) between May and June 2020.
“This phenomenal increase in the number of TINs is as a result of the requirement of a TIN to register to access Government’s COVID- 19 stimulus package from the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI). The collaboration with the NBSSI will not end here. We are collaborating with them through the various Business Advisory Centres nationwide to continue to provide TINs, especially to businesses in the informal sector. This will help to transition them into the tax net. We have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Identification Authority for a collaboration to provide TINs to eligible applicants and to also eventually make the Ghana card the only requirement for TIN registration.”