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Business News of Thursday, 29 July 2021

Source: GNA

GRA witnesses GH¢212million shortfall in tax revenue in first half of 2021

Ghana Revenue Authority has collected GH¢25.89 billion in tax revenue Ghana Revenue Authority has collected GH¢25.89 billion in tax revenue

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has collected GH¢25.89 billion in tax revenue as against GH¢26.1 billion targeted for the period, resulting in a GH¢212 million shortfall.

The GRA said it collected GH¢18.45 billion in domestic tax revenue and GH¢7.44 billion from international trade or customs.

Dr. Charles Addae, Deputy Commissioner in charge of Research, Strategy, Policy and Programs at GRA, announced this at a media briefing in Accra on Wednesday when giving an update on the country's tax mobilization efforts and measures undertaken to shore up the country's taxes.

He said the tax revenue collected in the first half of the year showed a nominal growth of 25.6 per cent.

Dr. Addae explained that if the tax collections from other tax revenue sources such as energy debt recovery, sanitation levy, Valued Added Tax and airport charges, the GRA had collected GH¢27.17 billion as against a target of GH¢27.25 billion, representing a GH¢28 million shortfall.

Assessing the average performance of the Authority, Dr. Addae said it showed that the Authority was hovering around 47.6 per cent, which was above 46 per cent recorded over the past five years.

On the contribution of the various regions to the country's tax revenue, Dr. Addae said the Greater Accra Region contributed 60.28 per cent, Western 5.02 per cent and Ashanti 4.2 per cent.

The rest of the other 13 regions' contributions to the nation's tax revenue was very minimal, he added.

Dr. Addae observed that with the linkage of the GRA's database to the National Identification Authority's database, it discovered that 33,500 professionals, including medical doctors, engineers, lawyers and IT experts who had Ghana-Card but did not have tax identification numbers(TIN).

He explained that those elite professionals were earning high incomes and had, therefore, invited them for interrogation to ascertain whether or not, they were paying taxes on their earnings.

"We are chasing them because now we have their house and mobile phone numbers but that doesn’t mean that they don't pay taxes until we have finished the interrogation," Dr. Addae explained.

Dr. Addae indicated that the Authority was working collaboratively with German International Corporation ( GIZ) and the Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development Ministry to digitize and capture houses and properties being used for commercial businesses and residential purposes to charge the appropriate tax rent on them.

He advocated the need to intensify tax education drive and enforcement mechanisms to shore up the tax revenue.

The GRA, this year, set a target of GH¢60 billion in tax revenue and based on the first-half performance, Dr. Addae believed that it would meet the target.