The Commissioner-General for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Reverend Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, has 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.
“The approach is to ensure that this data is being matched …And since this is where we are going, it is in the interest of every stakeholder to aggressively participate and make sure that they are online”.
Pitfalls in Identification cards acceptance
Reverend Ammishaddai’s comments rides on conversations surrounding the variations within the banking system and GRA’s tax collection procedure. Hitherto, taxpayers couldn’t file tax returns due to banks reluctance in accepting some types of Identification Cards.
Reacting to this, he lamented that such acts rendered the Authority running at a loss. In resolving the challenge, Reverend Ammishaddai maintained that his outfit has designed a system that accepts every ID card. This is to expedite its usage in bank transactions.
This includes transactions for ITaPS and ICUMS as it made it convenient for taxpayers to honour their tax obligations.
“Anytime you have a card that a Bank has a reluctance to accept, it’s more because the Bank hasn’t linked its system to your system to ensure the ability to verify or validate the card.
“The Bank should be able to identify all cards now.
“Previously what Banks were doing is that they collect them [ID cards] and later they go and verify…but today, for everything you are doing – if it’s the passport, you have got to make sure that there is a database where if I bring my passport, I will be able to get into the database online and be able to see that this passport really belongs to this person”.
GRA initiates seamless identification process
Henceforth, the Commissioner-General noted that, the payment process for taxpayers will be fluid. As such, they will be at liberty to use the Ghana Card without necessarily applying for a TIN number.
“This replacement of identification will enable the organisations share important data. And [it will] also help identify and rope in eligible taxpayers, especially in the informal sector.
“Taxpayers will also not spend time in acquiring TINs as they will use the Ghana Card Identity Number for tax purposes”.
Additionally, Rev. Owusu-Amoah intimated that the Authority will ramp up efforts to tax players in the e-commerce market, although it is a sector which has been challenging to tax over the years.
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