Business News of Thursday, 31 May 2012

Source: Daily Guide

GRA Opens Medium Tax Office

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has opened its first medium taxpayers office to serve its clientele who have an annual turnover of between GH¢90,000 and GH¢5million.

The office is located in the renovated edifice of the erstwhile Internal Revenue Service (IRS) off the Spintex Road.

It is the first of the integrated pilot offices of the Authority, which are expected to be established across the country.

The new medium tax is part of reforms in revenue administration under which taxpayers have been classified into large, medium and small depending on their turnover.

Before cutting the tape to commission the new office, George Blankson, Commissioner-General of GRA said, “The successes of the pilot offices will engender deeper confidence in the GRA to roll out the rest of the domestic tax revenue division offices across the country,” In accordance with best practice in tax administration, Mr. Blankson said there has been a shift from tax type to functional revenue administration.

Functional tax administration focuses on processes and procedures of managing the tax types.

He said taxpayers would be provided with a one-stop shop due to the integration of the Domestic Tax Revenue Division offices.

“This is because they will serve taxpayers of both income tax which falls under direct tax and VAT which is an indirect tax. The inconvenience of paying the two taxes at separate office locations will be eliminated contributing to a considerable reduction in tax compliance costs.”

To enhance the revenue mobilization process, Mr. Blankson hinted that the manual process in the Domestic tax system would be automated “this would lead to a significant improvement in our business processes resulting in reduction in the amount of time taxpayers spend in honouring their tax obligations.”

The project was support by the German Development Corporation through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Good Financial Governance Programe to improve efficiency and effectiveness in Ghana’s taxation environment.

Herald Kueppers, programme Manager of the GIZ/ good financial Governance program, in a remark, said the opening of the Spintex Medium Taxpayers Office marks the actualization of the segmentation of taxpayers by GRA after successfully piloting the large taxpayer’s office last year.

It is envisaged that piloting of the small taxpayer’s office would be rolled out soon to complete the piloting of the segmentation process.

“We trust that the piloting will not only improve the revenue performance through enhanced revenue collection but will in the same measure enhance service delivery by providing a customer friendly environment and high quality client service and education to the taxpayers by the GRA.”

Kempis Ofosuware, Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, urged GRA to mount sustained tax education to help address 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.

Comfort Boohene-Osafo, Commissioner, Domestic Tax Division, asked the staff to offer dedicated and excellent services to taxpayers.