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Business News of Saturday, 28 July 2012

Source: Daily Guide

GRA Simplifies Tax Payment

As part of its ongoing reform aimed at simplifying and modernizing the tax system, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has introduced the ‘Self Assessment Policy Document’ under which a taxpayer will be responsible for accurately computing and reporting his/her tax liability.

This means taxpayers must show all their taxable income and claim only the deductions and reliefs which they are entitled.

Launching the policy in Accra, George Blankson, Commissioner-General of GRA noted that “modern tax administrations the world over have adopted the self assessment system as the best vehicle for determining and accounting for tax liability.”

He said the policy is to mobilize revenue and reduce poverty, modernize administration, improve service delivery, reduce compliance burden and cost and administrative cost, facilitate business and investment and improve integrity, among others.

He noted that the first two years beginning this year would be devoted to corporate entities and the like in addition to selected individuals.

“Other individuals would be selected for self assessment within the next three years after some grooming and guidance,” Mr. Blankson added.

He indicated that publication of names of selected taxpayers would start in the next few weeks or simultaneously by individual notification of their nomination to self assess by the Commissioner-General.

He said “taxpayers so nominated would have the statutory mandate to self assess and declare taxes payable at the provisional and final level and submit same to the GRA at the appropriate times.”

He called on stakeholders to support and cooperate with the authority in its bid to reform and streamline tax administration in Ghana.

In his address, Dr. Edward Larbi Siaw, a Tax Policy Advisor at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning said “the hitherto dispensation whereby taxpayers and tax administrators looked at each other from the angle of the tax administrator wielding an axe, waiting at the gate or window of the offending taxpayer has become an issue of the past.”

He noted that the full introduction of the self assessment regime will in the long run improve tremendously a much needed co-operation between the taxpayer and the tax administrator.

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