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Ghana Revenue Authority targets GH¢7.5b in 2011

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The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) expects a 27 per cent growth in revenue for 2011, betting on intensified arrears collection and monitoring to ensure compliance of large tax payers.

Revenue, including petroleum tax, is forecast to reach GH¢7.53 billion in 2011, up from GH¢5.944 billion in 2010.

Out of the GH¢5.944 billion collected in 2010, direct tax amounted to GH¢2.441 billion, indirect taxes GH¢1.061 billion and customs, including petroleum, raked in GH¢2.442 billion.

Mr George Blankson, GRA Commissioner-General, told a press conference to update the media on reforms and the revenue performance for last year, that the management was devising strategies to increase revenue mobilisation.

He said the GRA would focus attention on streamlining the operation of the customs bonded warehouses, VAT refunds, issuance of permits and the Communications Service Tax to boost revenue collection.

“Management is committed to ensuring that the two prongs of tax reform and revenue enhancement are kept in perfect balance and proceed in tandem”, Mr Blankson said.

The Commissioner-General said the reform process, which was aimed at putting revenue collection on a higher growth path in the long-term, would be supported by short and medium term measures such as intensified tax audit, proper and effective management of information at the district offices, quick examination of submitted returns and expansion of automation process.

Mr Blankson said the drop in revenue/GDP ratio from 21.4 per cent to 12.6 per cent after the rebasing of the economy, raised the need for a comprehensive review of the collection procedures and processes.

Besides, there was the need to look critically at using tax waivers and exemptions as incentives for attracting foreign direct investment.

On the tax reforms, he said, the GRA’s focus was on the review of the tax legislations for purposes of simplifying them and streamlining processes.

In this direction, a draft consolidated Administration Act, which brings together the administration provisions in the Act under which direct tax, VAT and indirect taxes and customs duties are administered, has been produced.

Mr Blankson said the GRA had also made progress in working with private partners in the development of an Integrated Revenue Information System to provide a platform for the administration of all domestic taxes under the e-Gov project.

Source: GNA

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