The Acting Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Rev Ammishaddai Owusu Amoah, has indicated that the domestic tax sector of the Authority did much better than the Customs sector, in the Authority’s efforts in meeting the revenue target set by the Government for the year 2019.
“In total, the Ghana Revenue Authority ended the year at 43.5 billion cedis which is about 1.5 billion cedis above the target even though customs had suffered as a result of the benchmark values. We had to put more effort in the domestic side,” he disclosed.
Speaking live on Eye on Port’s interactive platform on the topic, ‘Revenue Mobilization Goals: Assessing Policies and Addressing Variances’, the GRA boss said although the reduction in benchmark values of general goods and home delivery values of cars for example saw a reduction in revenue mobilization in the Customs sector, the authority made up for it in other areas of domestic tax mobilization.
“We had budgeted that in 2019 that we would grow customs revenue to 14 billion cedis, from the 11 billion cedis previously, we ended the year at 12 billion cedis which was a decline, however, some of the other policies that were introduced at the domestic side in terms of domestic direct and domestic indirect were also positive,” he stated.
Rev Owusu Amoah said the 4th quarter of 2019 saw an enforcement of revenue laws to ensure taxpayers are complaint, emphasizing that GRA was very determined to collect outstanding debts to make up for gaps in revenue collection.
He said the GRA has found ways to improve the efficiency of its tax officers, by creating a healthy competition among them to meet targets. He added that with the help of the NABCO interns who contributed tremendously with their invigilation, the GRA yielded positive results in tax compliance.
“One of the areas you would see significant increase was the Value Added Tax. We had to do a lot of VAT invigilation where we made use of the NABCO interns who went from shop to shop to inspect people who were issuing the VAT,” he explained.
He however said that, after a general assessment by management of various avenues to be explored for tax generation, the Authority is poised to exceed the revenue target, again in 2020.
“In the informal sector for example, we raised a substantial amount of almost 400 million cedis in 2019 as against about 300 million cedis the previous year, but we believe that the tax opportunities for the informal sector are vast, so we are going to strategize.”