For a number of reasons, including insufficient administrative staff, high levels of illiteracy among tax payers, lack of sufficient equipment and facilities as well as lack of reliable statistical data, efficient tax administration is a major problem in developing countries such as Ghana.

Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance
Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance

Speaking at the launch, Finance Minister, Mr Seth Terkper, explained that Ghana’s problems with regard to taxation have been compounded by the direct tax act, the Internal Revenue Act (Act 2000), which was complex and not user friendly, therefore the need to replaces it with a new act which took into consideration international best practices.

Mr Terkper said prior to the passage of the Ghana Revenue Authority Act 2009 (Act 791), the three revenue agencies, namely the Internal Revenue Authority (IRA), Customs, Excise and Preventive Service(CEPS) and Value Added Tax (VAT) had their respective tax laws with provisions some of which were inconsistent with one another and therefore it was imperative to harmonise them.

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The Commissioner–General of GRA, Mr George Blankson, said that paramount objective of any tax administration is to encourage, facilitate, attain and maintain a high degree of self – assessment and voluntary compliances by tax payers with their obligations.

Mr Blankson explained that the integration of the revenue agencies demanded the need for the harmonisation of laws to be in consonance with each other.

The Chair of GRA Board, Mr Ralph Tuffuor, said since the integration of the revenue agencies, the tax policy initiatives and implementation by the Board and management have strived to improving service delivery, engineering business processes and procedures and simplifying tax laws to make them user friendly.

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Mr Tuffuor charged management to proactively carry the tax paying public with them through regular and sustained engagement to address their concerns and challenges.

Source: Public Agenda/

By Mandela Okai


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