Without new Tax Identification Numbers (TINs) No licences, passports and clearance of goods at ports from January 2017

BY: Emelia Ennin Abbey
 Mr Ben Acquaye-Hutchful (middle) giving a speech on the overview of Revenue Act 915
Mr Ben Acquaye-Hutchful (middle) giving a speech on the overview of Revenue Act 915

With effect from January 1, 2017, taxpayers without new Tax Identification Numbers (TINs) will be denied access to some essential services such as acquisition of driving licence, passports, goods clearance at the ports, among other social services.

The TIN is a unique 11-digit number required under the new Revenue Administration Act, Act 915, which is expected to enable taxpayers to transact business with ease.The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) said the TIN would also address issues of tax evasion by individuals and companies and instances of taxpayers owning more than one tax certificate.These were revealed at a tax education seminar organised by the Weija Small Taxpayers Office (STO) in Accra for taxpayers within its jurisdiction yesterday.The seminar was on the theme: “Towards effective tax administration-our responsibility, your obligation”.SeminarAt the seminar, the District Manager of the Weija STO, Mr Benjamin Aquaye-Hutchful, said “no taxpayer can engage in any form of business transaction without a TIN when the new policy commences from the 1st of January, 2017”.“From next year, professionals such as doctors, lawyers and surveyors cannot renew their licences without a TIN. If you do not have a TIN, you will not be able to get a tax clearance certificate to process land title deeds or transact business with any government institution,” he said.Mr Aquaye-Hutchful, therefore, urged all taxpayers, including business owners, employees of state and private institutions, business operators and all persons liable to pay tax or from whom taxes are withheld at sources as employees or agents, to register with the GRA for a TIN and be tax compliant.He said existing businesses were also required to re-register as taxpayers to enable the GRA to capture credible data to enhance revenue administration.He said the registration could be done online on the GRA website or “you can visit any GRA office and you will be registered within a few minutes”. RecordsA taxpayer service supervisor and senior revenue officer at the Weija STO, Mr Shadrack Nkansah, called on business owners to endeavour to keep records of their operations.“Unfortunately, business owners do not attach any importance to record keeping in this country.“Business must make sure record keeping and filing are up-to-date and they must hold on to those records. They are expected to keep going back for at least five years”, he said.Mr Nkansah explained that “if you have more than one business, you cannot lump all together for tax purposes. Instead, you must keep separate records for each and file your return for each”.