The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has warned that it would vigorously pursue all tax defaulters, including prosecuting them, after the expiration of the amnesty period on September 30, 2018.
Speaking at a press conference on the tax amnesty on Wednesday, Mr Kofi Nti, Commissioner-General of the GRA, said the Authority would apply all the sanctions under the law at the end of the amnesty period.
He therefore, called on taxpayers and potential taxpayers, who have defaulted in meeting their obligations to take advantage of the opportunity offered by government’s limited-time Tax Amnesty Act to regularize their tax affairs.
Under the provisions of the Act, persons registered with the GRA but have not submitted all returns or amended returns, containing a full disclosure of all previously undisclosed liabilities up to 2017 year of assessment qualifies for the amnesty.
Also, a previously unregistered person who registers with the GRA before September 30, 2018 and files the income tax returns for 2014, 2015, 2016 years of assessment.
He said taxpayers, who discharged their obligations voluntarily before September 30, 2018 would in exchange be granted forgiveness of and /or in some cases the tax, interests and penalties without fear of prosecution.
“I wish to say that as a compliance measure, this is the last time the GRA and for that matter government is offering a tax amnesty for defaulting businesses and persons,” he said.
“I therefore call on all persons earning income, who have defaulted in the submission of their tax returns and payments or who have not previously registered with GRA to take advantage of the amnesty, come clean and regularize their tax affairs,” Mr Nti said.
The opportunity exists for taxpayers, who have defaulted in basic requirements of tax compliance namely: Registration with GRA, Filling of tax returns by due dates, paying taxes on due dates and making full disclosure of financial reporting.
Mr Nti said the Act was designed to afford taxpayers already registered with the GRA the opportunity to voluntarily submit their outstanding tax returns and pay the relevant taxes on all previously undeclared taxes without being made to pay the penalties and interest that otherwise would have been imposed for such default.
He said potential taxpayers, who are not registered, with the GRA but who earned profits or other incomes in previous years would also have the opportunity to register with the Authority and submit all outstanding tax returns for the relevant period without payment of the relevant tax, penalties and interest that will otherwise have been due on those incomes.
Mr Nti said the tax amnesty did not apply to persons, who had been notified of an assessment or additional assessment in respect of tax or any matter relating to tax, persons under audit investigation, persons notified of an enforcement action and persons, who failed to comply with the provisions of any of the tax laws administered by the Commissioner-General.