The figure was GH¢1.8 billion short of the collection target of GH¢24.5 billion it had set for the period.
GRA has been tasked to collect GH¢39.8 billion, this year.
Mr. Messan said the introduction of the seven percent value added tax (VAT) withholding was meant to block leakages and optimize revenue mobilization.
He was speaking at a sensitization workshop held in Tamale to deepen understanding of the tax regime.
The programme was jointly organized by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, the Finance Ministry and the GRA.
It brought together accountants from the various ministries, departments and government agencies in the Northern Region.
The goal was to adequately equip them to effectively play their expected role in the revenue mobilization drive.
Mr. Messan repeated that the Withholding VAT was not anything new and that it had been there for some time now.
The Amendment Act (Act 954) of the VAT Withholding was to bring down future uncollectable debts by collecting the tax upfront from the major consumers.
It was a mechanism to account for and pay VAT on the supply of goods and services by the person making the payment.
He said the GRA had a responsibility to work through the Commissioner General to appoint Withholding VAT Agents to withhold a portion of VAT on payments made to a VAT registered supplier.
Mr Zaahid Yusif Doku, the Principal Revenue Officer Policy and Programs Department of GRA, said the Withholding VAT would improve government’s revenue for development.
Additionally, it would allow for fair application of the tax laws.
He said the Withholding VAT Agents would be required to account for the full output tax at 12.5 percent on the monthly VAT return.
He reminded VAT registered taxpayers that they were obliged to fill a VAT return at 12.5 percent for standard rated supplies.
Mr Sampson Asare Fianko, Deputy Controller and Accountant General in charge of Finance and Administration, urged everybody to support the GRA to collect more revenue.