GRA launches Self Assessment Policy Document to guide tax payers
7/27/2012 9:01:28 AM -
Accra, July 26, GNA - The Ghana Revenue Authority on Thursday launched a Self Assessment Policy Document to guide the tax paying public to assess their tax liabilities to encourage voluntary compliance.
The launch of the document is part of the ongoing tax reforms, which aimed at simplifying and modernizing the tax system to enhance tax payers' compliance and reduce cost.
The GRA expects that all tax payers would be able to assess their tax liabilities and file a return on the self assessed tax to go on the self assessment scheme within the next five (5) years.
Speaking at the launch, Mr George Blankson, Commissioner General, said the self assessment policy was recognized all over the world as the best vehicle for determining and accounting for tax liability.
He said some of the benefits to be derived from the implementation of the policy include voluntary compliance by tax payers in the modern tax administration and also savings to the revenue authority from the administrative costs associated with provision assessments.
Besides, it would also help to curb the tendency for 'unofficial negotiations' between tax payers and administrators for self gain.
Mr Blankson said both tax payers and administrations would also be saved from the inconvenience of over paid taxes and the need for refunds.
Currently, an estimated 1.5 million Ghanians pay direct taxes.
Mr Blankson stressed the need for education of taxpayers to be able to undertake the filing successfully, adding that the understanding of the process was the foundation of the self assessment process.
There is also the need for strong audit unit backed by modern and efficient techniques to boost confidence in the system, he said, adding that all these must be backed by financial resources and expertise to deliver on the goal.
Dr Larbi Siaw, Tax Policy Advisor and Head of Policy Unit Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, said the self assessment, which required tax payers to calculate their tax burden themselves, would help improve the cooperation between the taxpayers and the administrators.
He called for honesty and trust between the tax payers and the administrators.
He urged the tax payers to keep good records and to ensure that the dispensation of self assessment was carried through.
Mrs Perpetual Dafour, who chaired the launch, said the integration and modernization of the revenue agencies included the integration of the operations of the IRS and VAT service into domestic tax operations on functional lines that integrate the management of the domestic tax and customs operations, and modernize the operations of the domestic tax and customs through the review of the processes and procedures.
She appealed for support and co-operation of all stakeholders in GRA's bid to reform and streamline tax administration and urged them to honour their tax obligations to boost nation's quest to attain a high level of development.