The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has announced plans to appoint Uber Ghana as a withholding tax agent for Vehicle Income Tax, so that it can deduct taxes on the incomes of drivers registered with it.
As an agent for the GRA, the ride-hailing services provider will be mandated to request the TIN of Uber-run vehicles upon registration – with which the tax deductions can be effected and subsequently paid to the tax collecting authority.
According to the GRA, the move will curtail the current situation whereby Uber drivers are able to evade tax payment at the expense of their colleagues with other commercial vehicle operators in the country.
The authority also plans to roll out an e-payment system of tax revenue collection, leveraging the mobile money (MoMo) platform for payment of vehicle income tax and the excise tax stamp.
Patrick Frimpong-Danso-Office of Commissioner, Domestic Tax Revenue Division at the GRA, told journalists that: “We are going to appoint Uber Ghana to withhold VIT on behalf of GRA; we are currently engaging them on that.
“They [Uber Ghana] have a computerised database, so we are looking at how we can analyse this data in order to monitor and assess the tax revenue they withhold on our behalf.”
He added: “The GRA is now focusing on reducing the pain of taxpayers by enabling them to pay tax in a convenient and easier way.
“This system will help in broadening the tax net because the pain of tax compliance will be reduced. For instance, someone is willing to pay his/her tax but at the same time has to attend to his business; but with this system, the tax can be paid using a mobile phone.”
The e-payment platforms are the Electronic Vehicle Income Tax (e-VIT), which will help address the issue of fake vehicle stickers in the system; and the e-Tax Stamp for small business and self-declarants who want to make payment for the Excise Tax Stamp.
Deputy Commissioner in Charge of Communications at the GRA, Kwesi Bobie Ansah, indicated that the deployment of e-payment systems is the authority’s way of leveraging technology to make payment of taxes easier, convenient and faster for the taxable public.
“It is time to depart from the manual way of tax filing and payments; the e-payment systems will ensure convenience, speed – and saves cost specifically for the small taxpayers,” he said.
On the sensitisation workshop, he said: “At GRA, we believe that it is always better to seek the buy-in of stakeholders on our various tax reforms and initiatives to help in their smooth implementation”.