Bawumia on why gov’t is converting National ID numbers to tax numbers

BY: Maclean Kwofi & Elizabeth Adu

Ghana’s tax identification numbers (TINs) are set to rise by eight folds by the end of year 2020 following plans by the government to convert the national identification numbers into tax numbers.

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who made this known, said the exercise would help increase the number of registered taxpayers from the current two million to 16 million taxpayers.

Speaking at an event to officially launch the transition of Barclays Bank Ghana to Absa Bank Ghana Limited, on Monday, [February 10] in Accra, Dr Bawumia said the exercise was part of government’s agenda to formalise Ghana’s economy.

The transition of Barclays Bank Ghana to Absa Bank Ghana Limited was done after receiving all the required regulatory approvals from the Bank of Ghana (BoG).

The name change marks the beginning of a new era of the bank’s operations as a forward-looking African bank with global reach.

Leveraging technology

Dr Bawumia observed that the current government embarked on leveraging technology to overcome many of its developmental problems and to formalise the economy.

“The National ID card first establishes identity of citizens. The addressing system establishes the identity of properties. The two give us valuable information to run a modern economy.”

“And it is not just for efficient public administration, imagine the benefits to the private sector of this rich information database available to banks, credit rating agencies, revenue authorities, and in tagging those who most need help,” he said.

According to him, the introduction of digital driver’s licence and vehicle registration, the online application of passports, the paperless port, online renewal of NHIS membership had all curbed the frustrations, the petty bribery and corruption that many Ghanaians faced in their daily lives.

For instance, he observed that the National Insurance Commission (NIC) had just digitised the motor insurance database.

This means that the era of fake insurance certificates was over and the police could check the insurance status of any vehicle through their mobile phone.