Business News of Friday, 25 May 2012
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Thursday inaugurated the Spintex Road Medium Taxpayers office, the first of the integrated pilot offices in the Accra-Tema Metropolis.
The facility will serve the needs of persons paying direct taxes from the Teshie Nungua business district.
The opening of the office is in line with the current reforms in revenue administration under which taxpayers have been classified as large, medium and small depending on their turnover and other criteria.
Medium taxpayers are those who have an annual turnover of between GH?90,000 – GH?5 million.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr George Blankson, Commissioner-General GRA, said the success of the pilot offices would engender confidence in the Authority to roll out the rest of the offices across the country.
He said the integration of the Domestic Tax Revenue Division offices was meant to ensure that taxpayers were spared the inconveniences of filing their returns and paying their taxes in separate offices.
Besides, it will help reduce the tax compliance cost and make it possible to use common tax procedures for domestic tax and provide single source for tax enquiries.
“The offices will provide a one-stop shop for taxpayers. This is because they will serve both income tax and VAT taxpayers.”
He said the inconvenience of paying the two taxes at separate office locations would be eliminated contributing to a considerable increase in tax compliance.
Mr Blankson said the offices would perform functions including front and back end services such as taxpayer’s registration, returns and processing, accounting and payment processing as well as audit, debt management and enforcement.
He appealed to organisations and individuals to register or register for a new Taxpayer Identification Number to enable them to do business with GRA.
Mr Blankson said the new TIN would also ease the clearance of imported goods by taxpayers.
It will allow the GRA to obtain comprehensive information about taxpayers, to facilitate information about taxpayers to promote business.
Mrs Comfort Boohene-Osafo, Commissioner, Domestic Tax Division, asked the staff to offer dedicated, honest, sincere and excellent service to taxpayers.
“Your performance and conduct in this office will in future serve as a yardstick with which to measure the other…offices yet to be opened,” she said.
Mr Kempis Ofosuware, Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, urged GRA to mount sustained tax education to help break down the barriers and resistance to the payment of taxes.
He urged the citizenry to voluntarily pay their taxes to speed up the development of the country.**