The Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Kofi Nti, is optimistic that the national tax collection body will by the end of the year realise its revenue target of GH¢39.8 billion.
This is in spite of the fact, as at the end of August this year, the GRA had collected GH¢22.66 billion of the targeted GH¢24.46 billion for the eight months period, leaving a revenue short fall of 7.4 per cent which must be mobilised within the last quarter of the year to be able to meet the annual target.
However, the GRA is backing its hopes on a partnership it has entered with Mckinsey, a worldwide management consulting firm that conducts qualitative and quantitative analysis to evaluate management decisions across the public and private sectors to boost its efficiency.
At an interaction with a cross-section of the media in Accra on September 11, Mr Nti said the partnership with the consulting firm was expected to give the GRA the capacity to m
Mr Nti said the GRA, with the help of Mckinsey, would trigger the three pillars initiative, which involved revision of GRA’s systems to be comparable to world standard revenue administration through innovation.
The initiative, dubbed, the Ghana Revenue Enhancement and Transformation (GREAT) will also include investment in the training of GRA staff to build their skills and also formulate a mindset of constant improvement through sourcing for external ideas.
“The group is here to help improve upon professionalism and the change mismanagement process in GRA and we call this improvement process project GREAT- Ghana Revenue Enhancement and Transformation,” he said.
Mr Nti said with the support of the media, the GRA could potentially collect more taxes than it was doing presently.
“There is the urgent need to significantly increase revenue mobilisation to meet growing expenditure but this can only be done with the cooperation of the public which depend on the media for information,” he noted.
GRA to get strict
Mr Nit, however, hinted that the GRA was going to get tough on tax evaders who could not take advantage of the tax amnesty period to regularise their tax obligations to the state.
The Tax Amnesty Act, 2017 Act (955) provided an opportunity for all income-earners to regularise their tax affairs with the GRA to put businesses on a legitimate footing and avoid sanctions and legal consequences in the future.
It applied to taxpayers and potential taxpayers who had defaulted in registration with the GRA, filing of tax returns by due dates, paying taxes on due dates and making full disclosure of financial reporting to discharge their obligations voluntarily in exchange for forgiveness of and in some cases the tax, interests and penalties without fear of prosecution.
Therefore, Mr Nti said the GRA would henceforth go after tax evaders with the full application of the tax laws, including naming and shaming of perpetrators and the imposition and application of sanctions such as prosecutions, garnishing and distress actions.
“GRA is now going to bite, it is not going to be business as usual, the days of impunity about non-compliance with the tax laws are over,” he said.
On some of the policies being presently implemented, he said full enforcement of the excise tax stamp which begun on January 1, this year, will begin immediately to ensure compliance. — GB