The Ghana Revenue Authority has revealed that the various waivers, amnesties and tax relief initiatives being embarked on over the past year, are ultimately geared towards voluntary tax compliance.
The GRA said it is assiduously pursuing a renewed attitudinal and cultural change of the citizenry where tax payment is done wholeheartedly, and with a sense of integrity and patriotism.
Speaking on Eye on Port, an Assistant Commissioner at the Ghana Revenue Authority, and technical advisor to the Commissioner General, Dominic Naab, revealed that, GRA’s ongoing penalty and interest waiver took into cognisance the hardships of COVID-19.
He said, “government realized that the pandemic affected lives and livelihoods, and businesses had been badly hit so we rolled out these reliefs to taxpayers.”
Mr. Dominic Naab however noted that, the waivers of interests and penalties on taxes, will end on September 30, 2021, hence eligible taxpayers should hurry and take advantage.
“If you owe taxes up to the period of December 31, 2020, the interests and penalties accrued as a result of the taxes you haven’t paid, the law has forgiven all those interests, so take advantage. But you are supposed to satisfy your indebtedness to enjoy the waiver,” the Assistant Commissioner elaborated.
Mr. Dominic Naab said the forms to apply for the waivers can be accessed from any of the GRA offices or via the GRA website.
He explained that failure to pay taxes leads to interests and failure to file tax returns leads to penalties.
The GRA official recounted the various initiatives the Ghana Revenue Authority through the leadership of the Commissioner General, Rev. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah has introduced to not only widen and deepen the tax net, but also make tax payment more convenient to increase compliance.
He touted the online filing and payment of taxes as a significant milestone for tax collection in the country.
Mr. Naab said the Authority has intensified its visibility in the media space through TV, print and social media on tax education intended to increase voluntary tax compliance.
The technical Advisor to the Commissioner General emphasized that all income earners, both formal and informal are required by law to pay tax, and their obligations are in four folds.
Firstly, one has to register with the Ghana Revenue Authority as a taxpayer. Secondly, one has to accurately file tax returns. Thirdly, prompt payment of taxes and lastly the honest disclosure of income.
He asserted that tax payment is necessary for national development and sustenance, hence urged income earners to fulfil their civic responsibility.
Mr. Naab said, “taxes are the oxygen that the country runs on. Even if government borrows, it will have to pay back through taxes. COVID-19 has taught us that we need to be inward looking, because there is donor fatigue now.”