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Business News of Thursday, 26 October 2017


GRA cracks down on tax evasion via PoS devices

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) would beginning 2018, be able to track all taxes issued at the various Point of Sale (PoS) devices.

It follows moves by the Authority to connect its systems with the PoS’s at the various issuing centres to clamp down on tax evaders.

The policy was originally scheduled to take off in July 2017.

However as at October 2017, the policy is yet to see any signs of implementation.

“To curb tax evasion and improve revenue collection under the VAT system, Electronic Point of Sales devices will be deployed by the third quarter of 2017 to ensure that VAT collections are monitored on a real-time basis by the GRA,” the 2017 budget statement and economic policy stated.

Challenges with domestic revenue collection have been cited as partly accounting for government’s inability to meet set revenue targets.

For instance, government had to revise its revenue targets for 2017 due to its inability to meet the first half year target.

The figure went down from 34.4 billion cedis to 33 billion cedis.

This also translates into a reduction of 16.9% of GDP to 16.3% of GDP.

But the Associate Director for Tax Services with Price Waterhouse Coopers, Abeiqu Gyan Quansah, believes the eventual implementation of the policy, should increase government’s revenue for 2018.

In its pre-budget symposium, the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) cautioned that government may be unable to execute major socio-economic policies if it fails to improve domestic revenue collection.

The Executive Director of the IFS, Professor Newman Kusi was hopeful Ghana could work to increase its tax to GDP ration from the current 27 percent compared to her peers.

“Government must adopt a revenue mobilization strategy that seeks to strengthen revenue administration, improve tax compliance, help combat abuses and corruption, and increases that fiscal space for public investment and social spending”

“What is urgently needed this requires a closer look at revenue from the mining sector, the Freezone, the Informal sector and the state owned enterprises as well among others,” he added.