Tax Amnesty did not yield the needed result; GRA reveals

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh

Ghana Revenue Authority, GRA, has revealed that its Tax Amnesty policy which was introduced to get taxpayers clear all outstanding arrears was unsuccessful.

The policy, introduced in 2018 became apparent after the Authority failed to meet its target for the previous year. But the GRA maintains it will prosecute all persons who are found within this web and track revenue appropriately.

The Tax Amnesty spanned from February to September 2018 and it was to allow taxpayers whose taxes have been in arrears the opportunity to clear their debts without any penalties.

The GRA would not readily disclose how many businesses or individuals had been affected and how much it anticipated in revenue.

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But in assessing the impact, an Advisor to the Commissioner General, Henry Yentumi said the exercise was unsuccessful as planned.

“It wasn’t as successful as we had initially hoped so that at the end of the period we are still making up the numbers in terms of computation. But the general response was not as positive as the jurisdiction would have hoped it will be. But we continue the whole process of tax compliance,” Mr. Yentumi stated.

That the GRA was unable to meet its revenue target for 2018 and considering plans of possible increases in 2019 figures, Mr. Yentumi explains that prosecution of defaulters this time around will not be inevitable.

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“We are in a position now to not just to do persuasion but we are actually going to be prosecuting tax crimes this year and that includes those who didn’t take advantage of the Tax Amnesty. We wouldn’t be able to tell how many are not paying but what will be the case is as we use the TIN for non-compliance, we will be prosecuting,” he stressed.