The Ghana Revenue Authority’s (GRA) revenue collection target of GH¢39.8bn is achievable with suitable revenue collection strategies and dedication of staff, Commissioner-General of the GRA, Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti, has said.
“The target is achievable on the back of hard work and the rollout of innovative measures in the course of the year. Yes, the journey may be daunting, but we believe with the introduction of adequate strategies we can surmount the hurdles,” said Mr. Nti.
Speaking at a media Soiree in Accra to deepen the Authority’s relationship with the media, Mr. Nti explained that the Electronic Point of Sales Device and the Excise Tax Stamp policies, which could not be implemented last year, will commence in 2018 and are expected to increase tax revenues, reduce the incidence of Value Added Tax (VAT) and Excise Duty suppression, and monitoring of sales among others.
The Authority this year, will also implement the VAT Amendment Act, which requires the appointment of withholding agents by the Commissioner-General to withhold payment to a VAT-registered supplier of seven percent of the supply’s taxable value and remit same directly to the Commissioner-General.
“Let me be quick to add that all these interventions are not new taxes but compliance measures to ensure that all VAT/NHIL due to government is paid,” he said.
Mr. Nti said the GRA will roll out the Total Revenue Integrated Processing System to the remaining 10 Domestic Tax Revenue Division offices during first quarter of the year.
He said the Authority will also improve the infrastructure to ensure officers work in a conducive environment while capacity-building programmes continue to enhance professional performance.
On tax initiatives for economic growth, Mr. Nti said Tax incentives for Young Entrepreneurs, which seek to grant tax holidays to entrepreneurs’ aged 35 years and below; and an income tax threshold to protect low-income earners will be implemented.
Mr. Nti said there are also plans to introduce Voluntary Disclosure Procedures in the Revenue Administration Act to waive penalties on voluntary disclosures and payment of unreported and understated taxes by taxpayers.
2017 revenue performance
In 2017, the Authority recorded a nominal growth rate of 22.3% over the 2016 collection figures.
GRA collected GH¢32.3billion (GH¢32,313.37billion), compared to the GH¢27billion of 2016.
In 2017, the GRA was tasked to collect GH¢33,434.20 billion. As of the end of the year, the provisional collection figure is GH¢32,313.37billion. This represents a shortfall of GH¢1.1billion (GH¢1,120.83million), a negative deviation of 3.4%.
In 2016 the GRA was charged to collect GH¢29 billion, but it was able to collect only GH¢27.8billion, recording a shortfall of GH¢1.2billion.
Even though the 2016 target was not achieved, the revenue performance represents a nominal growth of 25.4 percent.
Mr. Nti explained that when he assumed office last year, collection in terms of the US dollar was stagnant in the region of US$6.8–6.9billion. For 2017, he said, collection rose to US$7.6billion – representing a break from the trend.
Direct collection was GH¢13.3billion as against a target of GH¢12.8billion.
On the other hand, GH¢6.3billion of indirect taxes was collected, as against a target of GH¢6.7billion. The Customs Division was given a target of GH¢13.9billion, but was able to collect GH¢12.7billion.
“The Authority really put up a sterling performance – especially in the last six months, but still fell short of the target marginally,” Mr. Nti stated.