- GRA is looking at making the tax administration easier for compliance.
Tax Administration in Ghana is looking at alleviating the stress and delays associated with the attainment of a Tax Clearance Certificate and the filing of tax returns. This is coming from Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
He gave this assurance after the Ghana Revenue Authority had successfully created online Platforms to automate the process of filing taxes and acquiring a Tax Clearance Certificate, thereby eradicating the numerous difficulties associated with the current manual process of issuance.
While speaking to participants at the 10th Annual International Tax Conference organized by the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Ghana in Accra, the vice president noted that the present Tax Certificate issuance regime, operating in accordance with the Revenue Administration Act, required some alteration, and the Ghana Revenue Authority had taken the necessary steps to make that happen.
He revealed that the Commissioner-General has maintained a system of Tax Clearance Certificates (TCC) in accordance with Sections 10 & 11 of the Revenue Administration Act to ensure tax compliance.
This process of acquiring the clearance certificate has been done manually with the issuance of handwritten certificates over the years. Some of the issues affecting the process include delays in the issuance by the Ghana Revenue Authority, challenges in verifying genuine TCCs by recipients, the use of Fake TCCs, and alleged malpractices of some Tax Officials among others.
Dr. Bawumia further disclosed that this is why he directed the leadership of the GRA to automate the process of acquiring Tax Clearance Certificates, a process that has been completed and will go live by October.
According to officials of the GRA, to use the service, one would have to log into the taxpayer portal and apply for the TCC online in accordance with Section 14 of the Revenue Administration Act from the new feature that has been added to the Platforms.
How it works is that, the system does a background check to confirm there are no outstanding tax returns and payments and then grants successful applicants an Electronic Tax Clearance Certificate automatically. The electronic copy Tax Clearance Certificate is also sent to the requestee-third Party who has requested the Certificate.
Taxpayers whose applications were not successful are then given reasons for their denial of the automatic eTCC.
The vice president noted that this new process would help to eliminate the issue of fake TCC, unnecessary delays, and ensure transparency.
Tax Administration in Ghana: Filing of Taxes
The GRA’s Domestic Tax Revenue Division has also introduced a self-service portal (Ghana Taxpayers’ App, available on Google and Apple Play store, as well as on www.taxpayersportal.com) that helps the taxpayer to view balances on their ledgers, get reminders on due dates for payments of tax liabilities, file all tax returns, and get credits with tax credit when one suffers withholding tax.
This would also allow employees to monitor the accuracy of their income taxes deducted and paid by their employers.
Dr. Bawumia explained that the days of joining long queues in tax offices to pay taxes are gone. All taxpayers need to do is either sign up on the Ghana.gov payment platform using the Ghana card number (as citizens or non-citizens or TIN) and pay or visit any of the commercial banks.
He also said that the Authority will have a USSD code that allows every Ghanaian to check on their tax compliance status by dialing *899*42#.
He, therefore, encouraged all taxpayers to check their tax compliance status and immediately file their tax returns, and settle any outstanding on their mobile phones if they are not compliant.
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