Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is to collect GH¢39.8 billion as taxes for 2018. The figure represents an anticipated increase of 23.26 per cent over the 2017 collection of GH¢32.3 billion.
In 2017, out of a revenue target of GH¢33.434 billion, the authority collected GH¢32.313 billion, registering a shortfall of GH¢1.1 million. It, therefore, failed to meet its target by 3.4 per cent.
Interacting with the media in Accra last Friday, the Commissioner General of the GRA, Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, said notwithstanding the fact that the authority failed to meet its target “our performance saw a nominal growth."
In his view, the authority put up a sterling performance, especially in the last six months of 2017, "but still fell short of the revenue target marginally."
Giving reasons for the GRA’s inability to meet its target, Mr Nti said the Excise Tax Stamp (ETS) policy which was expected to commence last year did not take off as scheduled. Additionally, the Value Added Tax (VAT) fell short by GH¢323 million, while the implementation of the Electronic Point of Sale Device (EPSD) project which was expected to start in 2017 to improve collection of VAT could also not take off.
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Although the revenue target for 2018 was higher, Mr Nti said he was optimistic that with hard work and innovative measures, the authority could achieve it.
Mr Nti indicated that the strategies to be adopted this year to improve revenue collection included the implementation of the EPSD and the ETS policies.
The authority will also implement the VAT Amendment Act, which requires the appointment of withholding agents by the Commissioner General of the GRA to withhold payment to a VAT registered supplier of seven per cent of the taxable value of the supply and remit same directly to the Commissioner General.
These interventions, Mr Nti said, were “not new taxes but compliance measures to ensure that all VAT/NHIL due to government are paid."
He added that the GRA would also roll out the Total Revenue Integrated Processing System to the remaining 10 Domestic Tax Revenue Division offices during the first quarter of the year.
On tax initiatives for economic growth, Mr Nti said young entrepreneurs, aged 35 and below who start their business in specified sectors would be granted tax holidays.
Personal or individual income tax thresholds have been pegged to the current minimum wage to protect low income earners and ensure fairness in the income tax administration, he stated
Parliament, he added, had also passed the Tax Amnesty Act to exempt taxpayers who register and file returns within a stated period from paying penalties and interest for late submission or late payment of returns.