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Business News of Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Source: GNA

GRA exceeds half year tax revenue target

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The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) exceeded its half year tax revenue collection target of GH¢10,320,027,000.00, raking in GH¢10,503,027,000.00 during the period.

Mr. Seth Akuffo Anoff, an Economist at the Tax Policy Unit of the Finance Ministry, who announced this, said these were mainly from corporate tax, import duty and levies, petroleum tax, mineral royalties, domestic value added tax (VAT) and communication service tax.

Added to these was the recovery of GH¢2 million tax arrears from the National Communications Authority (NCA).

He said there was every indication that the Authority was on course to hit the 2015 tax revenue target of nearly GH¢22 billion.

He was speaking at a pre-tax consultative meeting organized in Sunyani by the Ministry in collaboration with the GRA under the theme “Transformation agenda, securing medium term prospects of the economy”.

The programme, which was supported by the German International Cooperation (GIZ) brought together captains of industry across the Brong-Ahafo Region.

Mr. Anoff attributed the strong performance to the efficiency of the administrative measures put in place by the Authority – combination of enforcement, debt collection and audit.

He stated that the focus of the country’s tax policy was to modernize the tax administration, promote high level of fairness and to improve compliance.

He spoke of tax incentives introduced to support the growth of local industries and said these include the removal of VAT on locally produced pharmaceuticals and raw materials.

There is also a waiver of import duty and VAT on inputs for the production of machetes, exercise and text books as well as smart phones to help bridge the digital gap.

Dr. Edward Larbi-Siaw, a Tax Policy Advisor at the Ministry, encouraged businesses to make sure that they regularly filed their tax returns.

That, he said, was important to aid the GRA to accurately determine their tax liabilities to prevent both under and over-tax payment.

Contributors to discussions at the open forum were unanimous in their call for the opening of more GRA offices, especially in the deprived areas, to boost tax revenue.