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30.07.2012 Business & Finance

GRA deepens tax compliance

By Thebftonline.com
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The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Self Assessment Policy Document aimed at guiding and encouraging voluntary tax compliance has been unveiled.

The policy which forms part of the ongoing tax reforms exercise is aimed at simplifying and modernising the tax system and also enhancing taxpayers' compliance and reducing cost.

It will ensure that all taxpayers will 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 years.

Mr. George Blankson, Commissioner-General of GRA, said: “There is need for strong an audit unit backed by modern and efficient techniques to boost confidence in the system, and that all these must be backed by financial resources and expertise to deliver on the goal.

“The self-assessment policy will also help to curb the tendency for “unofficial negotiations” between taxpayers and administrators for self-gain. This policy has been recognised all over the world as the best vehicle for determining and accounting for tax liability.”

Mr. Blankson said both taxpayers and administrations will also be saved from the inconvenience of over-paid taxes and the need for refunds.

“Some of the benefits to be derived from implementation of the policy include voluntary compliance by taxpayers in the modern tax administration, and also savings to the revenue authority from the administrative costs associated with provision assessments,” he said.

Dr. Larbi Siaw, Tax Policy Advisor and Head of Policy Unit at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, explained that the self-assessment -- which requires taxpayers to calculate their tax burden themselves -- will help improve cooperation between taxpayers and the administrators.

Mrs. Perpetual Dafour appealed for support and cooperation of all stakeholders in GRA's bid to reform and streamline tax administration, and urged them to honor their tax obligations to boost nation's quest to attain a high level of development.

As part of the reforms in revenue administration, the GRA is linking with the Registrar-General's Department (RGD) electronically under the e-Gov. project to ensure that GRA has access to the database of the RGD to access the details of registered businesses to provide easy tracking for tax purposes.

In connection with this, new Taxpayer Identification Numbers were issued to registered businesses and individuals.

The Ghana Revenue Authority Act, 2009 (Act 791) received Presidential assent on December 31 2009, and has been passed to establish the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Its passage will integrate the management of domestic tax and customs divisions and modernise domestic tax and customs operations through the review of processes and procedures.


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