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Tamale, Ashanti Sectors exceed revenue targets, for GRA Customs Division

BY: Samuel Duodu & Daniel Kenu
Mr Ebenezer Mensah
Mr Ebenezer Mensah

The Tamale Sector Command of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) exceeded its revenue target for last year by GH¢98.6 million, with the Ashanti Sector Command exceeding its target by GH¢73.98 million additional collection.

The Tamale Sector thus exceeded its 2018 revenue by 144.20 per cent as it collected GH¢167 million against the GH¢68.40 million target.

The Ashanti Sector Command’s target for last year was GH¢578.25 million but it collected GH¢650.53 million, an excess of 12.5 per cent.

Although these sectors performed well, the GRA fell short of its overall national target by 5.5 per cent, as it raised GH¢37.63 billion against a target of GH¢39.82 billion mainly due to reforms at the ports and harbours.

These came to light when officials of the GRA engaged media practitioners at separate events in Tamale and Kumasi last Friday to deepen relations with the media and to solicit their support towards the education of the public.

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"This year, we have a target of GH¢78.03 million which we hope to achieve through the adoption of innovative strategies,” the Tamale Sector Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mr Paul Kwesi Ahiakpor, disclosed at the reception in Tamale.

Mr Ahiakpor said it was the belief of the GRA that continuous engagement and interaction with their stakeholders, especially the media, would improve and deepen the cordial relationship for cooperation in their line of duty.

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He said the GRA would continue to rely on the media to help change the perception of society towards taxation and ensure that issues of national revenue were not overlooked by the media in their daily reportage.

"It is the hope of the GRA that by helping to shape public opinion towards their civic obligations, the citizenry will see payment of taxes as a sacred national duty that would boost revenue mobilisation through voluntary compliance,” he said.

Commendation

Mr Ahiakpor commended the officers and men and women of the Command for working hard in 2018 to exceed the target and expressed the hope that they would do so this year.

He, however, warned that the GRA would not hesitate to activate sanctions and punishment against officers who were found to connive with people to evade tax.

Medium Tax Office

The Acting Assistant Commissioner of the Tamale Medium Tax Office (MTO), Mr Ebenezer Mensah, announced that last year the office collected GH¢41.21 million as against GH¢39.14 million for 2017, and that the unit was expected to collect GH¢60.61 million this year.

The Tamale Small Tax Office also collected GH¢27.6 million for last year, above the GH¢26.6 million target and expect to collect at least GH¢37 million this year.

Kumasi

In Kumasi, the GRA announced that it would begin night duties from next month to track those who engaged in economic activities at night to pay taxes.

The authority said as a way of evading taxes, some businesses now operated mainly at night.

A Principal Revenue Officer in charge of ????Wearhouse???? in Kumasi, Mr Edward Aggrey-Fynn, told journalists in Kumasi during a soirée last Friday night that the operation would be broad to reach everybody who needed to be in the tax net.

The expanded activity will also cover night clubs and those who ply their trade by the roadside.

The widening of the tax net is one of two main projects the GRA intends to roll out by the middle of the year.

The second project, according to Mr Aggrey-Fynn, who stood in for the Sector Commander, Mr Fred Yankey, was the electronic filing of tax returns.

He said the authority had realised that people felt reluctant to join long queues to file for their tax returns, hence the effort to enable business persons to do so from the comfort of their offices.

Tin & Tax Stamp

The Officer in charge of the Asokwa Medium Tax Office, Mr Samuel Sakyi-Duodu, urged Ghanaians to register for their Tax Identification Number (TIN) because it was the fulcrum around which every national documentation revolved.

Mr Sakyi-Duodu also mentioned that the campaign for all manufactured products to have the tax stamp would be intensified to ensure that all goods were wholesome.