Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has launched an online integrated platform to help businesses and individuals file their tax returns and pay their taxes easily.
Dubbed, Integrated Tax Application and Preparation System (iTaPS), the e-service platform would enable taxpayers to prepare, apply and receive annual tax returns, tax clearance certificate and verifications, business records, and VAT withholding tax credit certificates, and among others.
Speaking at an event in Accra yesterday to also launch the 2019 Tax and Good Governance Week Programme of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), he explained that the system was carefully designed and developed to give taxpayers an easy and convenient way of fulfilling their civic responsibility of filing and paying taxes.
He noted that the system would compliment an electronic payment platform, which would soon be outdoored by the GRA, for operators in the informal sector particularly commercial transport operators to enable them pay their taxes through mobile money.
In realisation of government’s Ghana Beyond Aid agenda, the Vice President stated that, it was imperative that the country improves its domestic revenue mobilisation to generate enough revenue to cater for various development needs.
“Ghana’s status now as a lower middle income country comes with a huge responsibility to mobilise enough revenue to cater for our development needs without looking forward to aids and grants from developed countries and donor agencies. The Ghana Beyond Aid cannot be a success without every individual’s effort to be tax compliant,” he noted.
On recent statistics that only about 1.2 million people out of the six million economically active population pay taxes, Dr Bawumia said, it must be reversed through roping in the informal sector in the shortest possible time to boost revenue collection.
He urged the GRA to effectively use the about 8,000 Nation Builders Corps (NABCo) interns allocated to the Authority and advent of technology provided by the digital addressing system to identify potential taxpayers.
The Vice President reiterated government’s commitment to move the economy from taxation to production adding that it was now time for Ghanaians to contribute through taxes to ensure the continuous implementation of interventions including the Free Senior High School (SHS), national health insurance, revamp the railway sector and construct new roads.
Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, stated that taxes were fundamental to the country’s development agenda and constituted a substantial component of the total revenue which 10.8 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2018 and is expected to reach 17.1 per cent by the end of 2019.
Following the conclusion of the credit facility programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he said it was important that domestic resource mobilisation efforts were enhanced for all citizens to contribute their quota.
MrEmmanuel Kofi Nti, Commissioner-General, GRA, stated that the GRA would this year apply the full sanctions on taxpayers who fail to file their annual tax returns on due dates with a view to meet this year’s revenue target.
This year’s tax and good governance week is on the theme “File your tax returns, pay your taxes, move Ghana Beyond Aid.”
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS