GRA unable to achieve 2014 revenue target
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) missed its revenue collection target by three per cent last year.
The Commissioner-General of the authority, Mr George Blankson, said GHc17.07 billion was collected from the targeted GHc17.61 billion.
The amount, however, represented a significant increase over the 2013 figure of GHc13.16 billion.
Mr Blankson was speaking at a press soiree organised by the authority to apprise the media of developments in the GRA last year and the prospects for 2015.
Reasons for shortfall
He listed a litany of challenges that contributed to the inability of the authority to achieve its target, including deferment of the implementation of the VAT on fee-based financial services, inflation, foreign exchange fluctuations and the crippling energy crisis which affected output, productivity and the profit levels of businesses.
“The fall in the prices of minerals on the global market led to lower incomes and profits, staff lay-offs in the mining sector and negatively affected pay as you earn (PAYE), royalty and corporate tax,” he said.
Modernisation of tax collection process
Over the years, some importers had been known to under-declare their goods, resulting in the state losing millions of cedis in taxes, he added.
But, Mr Blankson said, as part of the process to modernise tax collection, the authority had deployed the Total Revenue Integrated System (TRIPS) in 12 offices.
“The TRIPS will link up with or relate to the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS) to share information to enable the GRA to monitor the activities of importers and marry their declared incomes with volumes of imports,” he explained.
That, he said, would enable the GRA to increase revenue collection for national development.
The commissioner-general said to further deepen the modernisation process, the GRA had extended self-assessment to all medium taxpayer offices (MTOs) to allow taxpayers to assess themselves, instead of the GRA performing that task.
“This is to enhance voluntary compliance because it is expected that the taxpayer will have no cause to fail to pay tax he or she has estimated the business deserves to pay,” he added.
He, therefore, advised taxpayers to honestly and correctly assess themselves.
He said in 2015, the GRA would adopt measures to ensure effective compliance by taxpayers to their tax obligations.
Mr Blankson said apart from revamping its human resource base through recruitment to help improve productivity in the GRA, the preventive sector was also being augmented to help border patrols.
“Since tax mobilisation is a function of the perception of integrity of staff, the GRA will continue to improve integrity among staff. To this end, management will apply strictly the code of ethics adopted by the authority,” the GRA boss said.
“We believe that a firm application of the code will engender confidence in taxpayers to induce them to honour their tax obligations more readily,” he added.