The Government is considering fast-tracking approval for the proposed policy of integrating the operations of the three revenue-collection agencies in the country, CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE has learnt.
Currently, the integration of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Value Added Tax (VAT) Service is being discussed.
If implemented, the integration policy will shore up the country's revenue collection, improve professionalism and also increase both employee and customer-satisfaction.
Recently, there have been complaints by some customers over alleged corruption by some CEPS officials at the Tema Harbour.
The integration was initially proposed by the Revenue Agency Governing Board (RAGB) set up by Act 558 of 1998, even though it will need government's approval before it is implemented.
The Executive Secretary of RAGB, Harry Owusu initially wanted the policy to be in place by 2006.
However, government sources say it is still being discussed.
For the past six years, revenue collection has increased by 360 per cent from ¢6.56 trillion recorded in 2001 to ¢23.71 trillion at the end of 2006.
In addition, third quarter results of the country's revenue collection for this year shows that Ghana fell short of its revenue target though domestic revenue mobilization still remains robust.
The nation bagged ¢20.96 trillion (GH¢2.096 billion) as against ¢21.02 trillion (GH¢2.101 billion) through the three revenue collection agencies.
Considered as the largest revenue generating agency, the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) collected ¢11.64 trillion (GH¢1.164 billion) as against a target of ¢12.02 trillion.
Whilst the Value Added Tax (VAT) Service bagged ¢3.15 trillion (GH¢ 314.83), also missing its target of ¢3.24 trillion, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) exceeded its target by 7.3 per cent, collecting ¢6.17 trillion (GH¢617.65 million).
Contribution of tax to the gross domestic product (GDP) has also increased from 17.2 per cent to 21.1 per cent. Though the figures for measuring the country's GDP have not yet been released, indications are that Ghana is on the verge of attaining a 6.5 per cent GDP.
Chairman of the Reconstituted Governing Board, Osei Kwabena of Shegelege Tyres Company, has also revealed that as of early 2008, two outstanding performers from each of the revenue collection agencies will be sponsored to undertake a job-related training course in tax administration overseas.
By Charles Nixon Yeboah