Ghana Revenue Authority Holds Seminar For Taxpayers

Mr Kwesi Oppong-Damoah, Acting Deputy Commissioner Communications and Public Affairs of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), on Wednesday said the Self-Assessment (SA) Regime has been instituted to encourage voluntary compliance. It is also meant to give tax payers greater equity and fairness. Speaking at a Tax Education forum for taxpayers of Tema, Spintex and Legon Medium Tax Offices, Mr Oppong-Damoah said under the self-assessment tax payers would be required to fulfill their tax obligations by computing their own liabilities and submitting Self-Assessment. The forum was held on the theme: “Encouraging Voluntary Tax Compliance in the Quest for Maximum Revenue Mobilisation.” Mr Oppong-Damoah said under the SA Regime tax payers are allowed not only to submit estimates of their chargeable incomes before the beginning of the basis period, but to also revise their estimates when in the course of the year, it is detected that the initial estimates may be incorrect. He said it is important that tax payers keep good and proper records of their transactions to be able to file verifiable estimate of chargeable income and to also be able to support estimate with own budget for the year of assessment. Returns, which would be accepted is subject to verification by GRA on the accuracy and completeness of the items on the returns. He cautioned tax payers, who provide inaccurate, false or misleading statements in their self-assessment return forms or set out to intentionally evade tax, that they could be penalised. Mr Oppong-Damoah said there are plans to expand the self-assessment scheme to cover all tax-payers in the country by 2017. He cited low estimates, late filing of estimates and low number of Medium Tax Office as some of the main challenges of the self-assessment scheme. Ms Georgina Zeng, Chief Revenue Officer GRA, who spoke on client charter, said the GRA undertook taxpayer segmentation in order to provide quality service delivery to clients at a lower cost of collection and compliance. She said efficient revenue collection could be achieved with the voluntary cooperation of the vast majority of taxpayers, adding that the GRA had moved from the adversarial position of the past to partnership with taxpayers.