Lawrence Hotsonyame, the Principal Revenue Officer at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has disclosed that the Authority is leveraging on the opportunities in digitisation. filing of taxes filing of taxes
According to him, the Authority in its operation will ensure that processes are simplified for taxpayers to file their returns and pay taxes online.
“We are trying to change our operational processes to make it easy for taxpayers to file returns and pay taxes online and these are the primary obligations of the taxpayer”.
Additionally, Mr. Hotsonyame revealed that taxpayers will be able to file their returns and pay their taxes through government’s official website.
“Taxpayers will be able to do this through the government of Ghana’s official platform, which we call the Ghana.gov, so when you log in you will find more state institutions including GRA.
“So, when you click on GRA, it gives you all the services we offer to be able to file and pay online”.
Digitisation of GRA systems
The Ghana Revenue Authority in November 2020, assured the implementation of digitisation and automation systems. According to the Authority, this was to resolve the challenges associated with filing for tax reliefs.
The Head of Compliance and Debt management, Victor Akogo, revealed that, the manual system used by the Authority was responsible for the challenges with the filing for the tax reliefs.
“GRA only gives approval for the relief to be granted to the employee and not the GRA trying to reduce the taxes of the employee. It is the employer’s obligation to reduce the taxes based on the relief that the person has applied for as enshrined in the law”.
That notwithstanding, he expressed optimism over the success of the implementation of the new system.
“So, basically there is no misunderstanding but it is only that the manual way of computation that has probably created a huge burden for the controller that the reliefs are deducted from the payroll system. But with digitisation and automation of GRA systems, it will resolve all these issues”.
Replacement of TIN numbers
Commissioner-General for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Reverend Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, in similar light commended government’s decision to replace the Taxpayer Identification Number of persons with their Ghana Card number.
According to him, the move by government is a step in the right direction, particularly for the banks. This is because, banks have in recent times been confronted with challenges in synchronising details of taxpayers into a database.
Reverend Ammishaddai further revealed that uncertainties on the type of Identification Cards and what constitutes its usage has posed its own threats.
To rectify this, he averred that Banks need to be openminded and IT savvy to latch onto the new system. He further revealed that the new system will allow them to accept the ID cards.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Revenue Authority has insisted that it has not reviewed the standard VAT rate in the country.
This follows report on social media that the rate has currently been increased to 19.5% due to the application of the new levy.
That notwithstanding, the Authority insists that VAT still stands at 12.5% and as such, it has not been reviewed.