Government’s determined efforts to digitise the economy will have a strong positive impact on domestic revenue mobilisation, Technical Advisor to the Commissioner-General at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Henry Yentumi, has said.
Speaking as a panellist at the 7th Ghana Economic Forum (GEF2018) organised by the B&FT Group at Movenpick Hotel in Accra, he said key interventions such as the digital addressing system, paperless ports and Tax Identification Number (TIN) will aid efforts at broadening the tax net and to enforce compliance.
He said: “A digitised economy can help improve tax tracking and get people to be more tax compliant; by so doing, tax yield will go up and government can spend more on infrastructure and other developmental projects.
“In spite of economic trends that are going downward, the GRA can still meet its tax targets by leveraging the various digitisation measures and reforms which have been rolled out by government.”
In line with this, Mr. Yentumi said the GRA will fully digitise its tax mobilisation systems and processes by end of this year to enhance effective monitoring and evaluation of tax policies, as well as overall tax compliance.
This, he said, will help the GRA to track and know where each and every one lives; what they do and their annual income. Overall, the measure will enhance tax compliance for government to get more money to spend.
He added: “We need to broaden the tax net to ensure that everybody who earns an income is paying tax, rather than deepening it which makes it more inconvenient to those paying – for which reason they want to steal from the system.
“For instance, the TIN has improved tax compliance as the number of registrations has gone up to 100,000 a month since its inception. What these digital interventions mean is that government will get more money to help grow the economy.”
The GRA’s decision to go fully digitise its operations by end of the year has the backing of the Global Strategist for mPedigree Network, Selorm Brantie, on the grounds that the move will remove human interference and block various loopholes which cheat the system.
“We must look beyond the normal self-compliance when we are talk about taxation; we have to block avenues for revenue leakages. I do not know why we have not done that over the years as a country, but going forward we need to put in all these measures,” he said.
According to Mr. Brantie, government is taking too long to implement new public reforms that will check the system and ensure agencies such as the GRA become more efficient.
The seventh edition of Ghana’s premier economic forum, the Ghana Economic Forum (GEF), brought together key policymakers, business leaders, and the wider investor community to deliberate on issues of mutual interest.
Over 500 chief executives, investors and financial decision-makers, and key policymakers attend the two-day event’s opening session.
The GEF is designed to support the development of Ghanaian businesses and facilitate dialogue between the private and public sectors.