GRA EMBARKS ON INCREASED DIGITALIZATION FOR EFFECTIVE REVENUE MOBILIZATION


Jul 21, 2021
           

As part of efforts to make the payment of taxes more convenient, increase compliance and widen the tax net, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has rolled out some initiatives in its digitalization drive.

Effective June 1 2021, the Ghana Revenue Authority will cease accepting personal and corporate cheques for payment of taxes and duties at the Ports of Ghana.

Speaking on Eye on Port, the Head of Audit at the Large Taxpayer Office (LTO) of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Dr. Martin Yamborigya revealed that the GRA has contracted certain participating banks where from May, clients can pay taxes and duties electronically.

“We now have what we call participating banks and through the ghana.gov platform, all those participating banks can receive payments on behalf of the GRA. That means that you are not coming to GRA with your physical cheque, you can sit in the comfort of your home and make digital payments,” he said.

He said other direct payment methods such as mobile money can be used to transact business with the Ghana Revenue Authority.

Dr. Martin Yamborigya also disclosed that the Revenue Authority has a system in place where the public can file personal income tax returns and corporate income tax returns digitally without necessarily having to visit GRA offices.

Additionally, the GRA has since the beginning of April began the transition from the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to the Ghana Card PIN.

According to Georgina Zeng, the Head of the Taxpayer Identification Unit of the GRA, this ties in with government’s policy to have individuals in Ghana issued with one unique identifier for all transactions in the country.

Georgina Zeng, who was also speaking on Eye on Port said her outfit has been collaborating with the National Identification Authority for people legally living in Ghana countrywide to acquire their Ghana Cards.

“As part of the roll out, we are co-locating with the NIA in 14 of our offices across the country so that when an individual does not readily have a Ghana card, once you visit any of those offices you can be provided with a Ghana Card instantly,” she said.

She said the personal identification number (PIN) on the Ghana Card would now replace the TIN for individual tax transactions.

The Head of the Taxpayer Identification Unit at GRA revealed that those already with the TIN can have their data integrated with the PIN of the Ghana Card for future transactions.

“We have also made available a self-service portal on our website and individuals can visit and manually request for their TIN to be linked to their Ghana card and once this is done all your existing accounts will be linked to the Ghana card,” she explained.

Georgina Zeng also explained the arrangements for expatriates and travellers with respect to the transition from TIN to Ghana Card.

“Foreigners who have stayed in the country for over 90days can apply for non-citizen Ghana card. For those who haven’t lived up to the 90days, we treat them as exceptional cases and we continue to issue TIN to them,” she said.

She said this new integrating process is actively contributing to sanitizing the Tax Identification database of the Revenue Authority.

Contributing to the subject, the Head of Audit at the Large Taxpayer Office (LTO) of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Dr. Martin Yamborigya disclosed that those initially registered with the GRA would maintain their taxpayer offices.

“Those who do not have tax offices, we are going to use the information from the Ghana card to allocate them to the nearest tax office,” he said.

Dr. Martin Yamborigya said the Ghana Card initiative will enable GRA leverage on the data from the National Identification Authority to identify members of the public who should pay tax.

He explained that while importers and exporters by themselves may require these Personal Identification Numbers on the Ghana Cards for their individual transactions, for the purposes of transactions of their companies, the TIN is still needed.

“Replacement of the Ghana card as a TIN only affects individuals. As far as companies and corporate entities are concerned, they will continue to use the existing TIN as provided by GRA,” he explained.

The Head of Audit at the LTO said the GRA is embarking on extensive sensitization to bring the general public up to date with all new digital initiatives.

He said the Authority will help clients with all procedures as well as members of the public who are not technology savvy.