21.03.2005 Business & Finance

One-Stop Tax Approach welcome - Large Taxpayer Unit

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Accra, March 21, GNA - Seventy-two per cent of respondents to the Large Taxpayer Unit (LTU) survey have welcomed the implementation of the One-Stop Tax approach saying they are more satisfied with it than the traditional individual revenue agencies.

Addressing the media in Accra on Monday, Mr Harry Owusu, Executive Secretary of the Revenue Agencies Governing Board, said the survey was taken to identify the strengths of the tax system and what steps could be taken to ensure that firms in the LTU bracket knew and appreciated the payment of tax and the filing thereof.

He said about 360 firms with more than 500 employees located in the 500 billion cedis per annum bracket were surveyed.

Mr Owusu noted that it was important to have more people and firms pay up their tax obligations to make way for effective development. The LTU is a merger of the existing Large Tax Office of the Internal Revenue Service and the Large Trader Control and Excise Unit of the VAT Service.

He said the LTU is working at ensuring that the 20 per cent of firms and individuals who contributed 80 per cent of tax revenue was covered.

Dr Christoph Habammer, Tax and Finance Advisor of GTZ, the German agency who are sponsors of the Project, said 75 per cent of the large taxpayers were more satisfied with LTU and its operations while 80 per of the clients thought LTU was efficient and used better procedures.

"This constitutes a clear sign that the upcoming merger of the three individual tax agencies envisaged at end 2006 will be a big step forward in terms of customer care and efficiency," he added.

Dr Habammer said tax filing documents for the 360 firms were to be provided electronically to ease tax filing process.

The survey requested areas such as computerization, human resource management, education and the process of withholding tax as indicators for improvement.

He noted that the establishment of the LTU was considered by large tax payers as a big step forward in terms of quality and speed of service.

"Ghana by this is making a giant step in tax administration capable of lifting development to another level."

The LTU collected 17 trillion cedis for the state last year.

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