The Customs Division therefore exceeded its 2017 set goal by 10.31 in spite of human and logistical challenges facing the revenue collection body for the state.
The feat was chalked even when staff position of the Collection which started with 106 in 2017 dwindled to 62 by July the same year owing to the crisis in Tema, according to officials, which affected the general human resource position of Customs.
Chief Revenue Officer (CRO), Mr. Henry Ayinemi Atampugbire, the Wa Sector Commander of the Customs Division of the GRA revealed this during a press soiree in Wa.
He noted that, thankfully, the staff position had been beefed up following the transfer of six senior officers to the Wa Collection in February this year.
He said they were however waiting for more junior officers to be added so that they could have a full complement of their human resource needs to enable them embark on effective preventive operations to rake in more revenue for 2018 and facilitate trade as well.
CRO, Mr. Festus Onomah-Quansah of the Lawra Small Tax Office (STO) of the GRA said his office also exceeded its share of the 2017 revenue target of GH¢3,336,294.50 by collecting a total amount of GH¢3,419,655.79.
He attributed the feat to their ability to conduct a number of tax audits, constant engagement of withholding tax agents to ensure timely collection and increased in visits by taxpayers.
The CRO at the Lawra STO noted that the target for this year was GHC4,090,992.69 comprising 3,599,481.64 direct taxes and 491,511.05 indirect taxes.
“With this higher target, we wish to double our effort in order to meet the target”, he said and added that they would upscale staff capacity through regular training programmes as well as having intensive technical meetings in the office to discuss and learn about some technical issues regarding tax collection.
CRO Onomah-Quansah said over the years GRA had realised that taxpayers suppressed their sales resulting in under declaration of their taxes, which he noted reduced compliance to the Value Added Tax (VAT) law.
He explained that this informed GRA’s decision to introduce the “Electronic Point of Sale Device” to among other things improve the revenue collection from VAT registered taxpayers.
He added that accurate and easy way of recording and issuing receipts; easy access to sales information; convenient way of keeping track of stocks; alert for returns and payment due; elimination of calculation errors on returns; and easy compliance to the tax as some of the benefits the introduction of the “Electronic Point of Sale Device” brought to the taxpayer.
CRO Onomah-Quansah said it would also bring to the GRA convenient monitoring of daily, weekly and monthly revenue due the state and convenient monitoring of individual taxpayers sales pattern to uncover malfeasance.
In addition, he said, it would ensure easy monitoring of all forms of non-compliance and reduction in the need for frequent audit as well as increase in revenue.