GRA sets more than GH¢27b tax revenue target for 2016

TaxThe Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) projects to collect GH¢27.59 billion this year (2016), Mr George Blankson, Commissioner General of the Authority, has said.

The Authority exceeded its 2015 target of GH¢21.57 billion by GH¢620 million at GH¢22.17 billion, a 29.3 percent increase over that of 2014.

Domestic direct tax is also expected to bring in GH¢11.513 billion this year, whiles domestic indirect tax, and Customs are expected to bring in GH¢5.916 billion and GH¢10.159 respectively.

Addressing this year’s Annual Management Retreat in Ho, Mr Blankson   said though the 2016 revenue target was challenging, the Authority would do its best to achieve the stated target.

He attributed the excess revenue achieved in 2015 among others to increasing number of audits, regular external visits and inspection of taxpayers’ businesses to retrieve outstanding taxes and roping in operators in the informal sector.

Mr Blankson commended management and staff, especially the Revenue Taskforce for the achievement and charged them to do more in 2016.

He said infrastructure works were progressing on some offices of the Authority and the Revenue University at Kpetoe.

Mr Seth Terkper, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, in a speech read on his behalf, said the Ministry had submitted proposals to the Speaker of Parliament to withdraw the one per cent tax on interest for individuals.

He said Parliament was also to reduce to 7.5 per cent withholding tax on services, which went to 15 per cent in the new Income Tax Act, 2015, (ACT 896).
“This clearly shows that, this government is a listening government…” he said, because it was not the intention of government to unduly burden the citizenry with a plethora of taxes, but to raise the required revenue to pursue the development agenda.

Mr Terkper said though payment of tax was not a pleasant experience for anybody, “taxation is the price we pay to live in civilized societies.”

He said the attainment of middle income status meant that the country must look within to mobilize revenue as concessionary loans were becoming difficult acquire.

Mr Terkper commended the GRA for exceeding its target in 2015 and urged the Authority to be more proactive in engaging the public through education on tax policies.

He also called on the Authority to engage an independent “think-tank” to assist in the public education of some of its tax policies to achieve results.

Mr Ralph Tufuor, Board Chairman, GRA, congratulated the Authority for achievements in 2015 irrespective of challenges.

Togbe Kotoku XI, Paramount Chief of Kpenoe, on behalf the Agbogbomefia Togbe Afede XIV urged the Authority to continually educate the public on their tax obligations.

The three-day retreat is on the theme, “The implementation Status of Strategic Plan 2015-2017 and Operational Plans-The Way Forward.”

Source: GNA

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