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Ghana Revenue Authority educates media on e-government project

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The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in collaboration with the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) is implementing the e-Government project for easy tracking of taxes.

The project which is a public-private partnership is an initiative that is aimed at linking the GRA to the RGD electronically to ensure GRA has access to database of registered business for easy tracking and for tax purposes.

Mr Anthony Minlah, Commissioner of the Support Services Division of GRA, announced at a day’s sensitization seminar for the media on registration and e-registration of taxpayers in Accra on Monday.

He said in connection with the project an e-registration of existing taxpayers and registration of new taxpayers for the purposes of getting a new Tax Identification Numbers was underway.

He, however, noted that tax administration in the country had been beset with a myriad of challenges which had adversely affected the moblisation of revenue for government.

The challenges included: fragmentation of domestic tax administration between the Value Added Tax and the Internal Revenue Service, duplication support functions across the revenue agencies, lack of a strong unified headquarters to support and manage the operations of the domestic tax and custom administration among other issues.

Mr Minlah, said with the challenges, the tax administration and customs duties in the country had been subsumed under one state institution being the GRA.

The GRA was established in December 2009, by Act 791 as a body corporate to replace the Customs Excise and Preventive Service CEPS), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Value Added Tax (VAT) for the administration of taxes and custom duties in Ghana.

He said the change was to help create a more vibrant efficient and effective tax administration for moblisation of revenue for national development.

He stated that under the new reform, the operations units of the IRS and VAT had been integrated into domestic tax revenue division while the preventive units of CEPS now formed the Customs Division.

“An essential element in the reform process is the review of GRA’s business processes and procedure to enhance service delivery to taxpayers,” Mr Minlah added.

He also noted that as part of the review of procedures and processes, new computerised software, the total revenue integrated processing system had been introduced to administer domestic taxes by the domestic tax revenue division.

Mr Sampson Armah Laryea Hammond, Deputy Commissioner in Charge of Modernisation, said the programme had a strategic focus-based on a strategic and modernization plan would commence from 2012-2014.

He said the plan was to help raise the tax to Gross Domestic Product from 13 per cent to above the sub-regional level of above 18 per cent.

He also noted that it would improve on the voluntary compliance to 80 per cent in 2014 using the 2011 base year.

Source: GNA

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