The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) will from October this year issue Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) electronically to tax payers, Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has announced.
A Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) is documentary evidence issued to confirm that the taxpayer is up to date with any tax payments and has met all applicable tax obligations at the date of issue.
The GRA may also issue a TCC to a customer who has tax arrears where the arrears are covered by a satisfactory installment arrangement.
According to the Vice President, the move was to reduce the discretionary use of powers and its attendant corruption by public officials, while promoting voluntary compliance in a friendly taxpaying environment.
He explained that electronic issuance of the certificate would make fake tax clearance certificate a thing of the past, eliminate delays and ensure enhanced transparency through the automatic verification and electronic issuance of the certificate to the tax payer and requesting institution.
He was speaking in Accra yesterday at the 10th edition of the annual international tax conference.
The three-day conference, organised by the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Ghana (CITG) was on the theme “Improving domestic tax revenue mobilisation: A consultative and inclusive approach.”
Dr Bawumia said the electronic issuance of certificate would complement the online filing of taxes to enable the country raise the needed revenue.
From next year, he stated that, many public services would require tax clearance certificate before service was rendered as part of efforts to promote tax compliance and enhance domestic revenue mobilisation.
“These are all aimed at making people comply with their tax obligations. If you want to have public service, you will have to file your taxes and receive a clearance certificate.
“So that we are able to move tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 13.5 per cent desired percentages at a time our neighbours are doing between 15 and 18 per cent,” he added.
The Vice President noted that, although developing economies including Ghana were mostly bedeviled by debt unsustainability and crisis management, government was focused on transforming the economy by leveraging on technology to improve services and enhance revenue mobilisation.
This, he said, was being realised through the establishment of an integrated system that addresses revenue mobilisation challenges.
Key among them, Dr Bawumia said, was the introduction of the Ghana Card with more than 16 million Ghanaians registered, housing addressing system which had currently captured more than seven million properties and Mobile Money interoperability aimed at resolving lack of financial inclusion.
He noted that the focus on digitalisation of the service processes of state institutions had enabled business environment and increased revenue for the government.
Discussing the theme, Dr Abdullah Ali-Nakyea, Senior Lecturer, University of Ghana School of Law, said poor stakeholder perception of the tax system, low tax compliance, among others, were impeding efforts to improve revenue mobilisation.
He reiterated the need to strengthen voluntary tax compliance through public education as well as publication of tax expenditure report to check what the state was losing through tax exemptions.
He called for the strengthening of the capacity of tax institutions, including the GRA to enable it conduct effective auditing of financial and telecommunication systems to avoid tax evasion.
To encourage tax compliance within the populace, he urged government to engage stakeholders on the use of tax revenues.
President of CITG, George OheneKwatia, called on the government to support the institute to resolve accommodation challenges that had bedeviled its operations.
He said the conference would offer prudent solutions for better revenue mobilisation to support economic development of participating countries.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS