Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has launched three initiatives of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), including the Electronic Tax Compliance Certificate (E-TCC), to promote tax payment and increase domestic revenue mobilisation.
The other initiatives are the Tax Compliance Short Code *880#, and Online Tax Returns Filing.
The event took place on Thursday, March 29 in Accra.
The three initiatives are also aimed at making tax compliance and payments easy and convenient for citizens from the comfort of their homes or offices.
For instance, the E-TCC is documentary evidence issued by the Commissioner-General of GRA to confirm that the taxpayer is up to date with payments and has met all applicable tax obligations at the date of issue.
These electronic systems would enable taxpayers to seamlessly and conveniently use the GRA’s taxpayers’ portal (www.taxpayersportal.com) to file their tax returns, apply for tax compliance certificates, and make payments using their personal computers, mobile phones, or tablets.
At the launch of the initiatives, Dr Bawumia said it would provide a shift in attitude toward tax payments and enhance compliance in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.
According to the Vice President, these will help promote transparency and accountability and, in turn, minimise corruption in the country.
Additionally, Dr Bawumia stated that taxes were the lifeblood of any country, which helped to build nations, and, thus, lauded the GRA for buying into government’s digitalisation agenda to promote national development and economic growth.
The Vice President expressed confidence that the initiatives would assist in increasing Ghana’s tax-to-GDP ratio from 13 per cent to 18-20 per cent within the shortest possible time.
“When we faithfully declare our taxes, we’ll be in a position to hold government accountable on what our tax money is being used for. Let us join hands together to develop our country,” he said.
Eventually, Dr Bawumia declared April as ‘Tax and Good Governance Month‘ and urged the GRA to pay attention to individuals and businesses who did not file their tax returns to widen the country’s tax net.
He highlighted some of the Government’s digitalisation programmes that had made a tremendous impact on revenue collection efforts.
The Ghana.gov portal, digital property addressing system, Ghana-Card, paperless port system, and mobile money interoperability payment system were among the examples of digital systems that Dr Bawumia listed as having placed Ghana at the top of the list of financially inclusive nations in Africa.
The Commissioner-General of GRA, Rev Dr Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, in his welcome remarks, said the Authority, in 2019, embarked on a transformational agenda, focusing on three key pillars – people, technology, and service.
The Authority, for instance, began leveraging technology to identify and simplify procedures and processes for tax payments.
He, therefore, entreated taxpayers and businesses to embrace the GRA’s digital portals to file tax returns, initiate payments, and access other tax-related services.
A Senior Revenue Officer at the Domestic Tax Revenue Division, Mr Theophilus Kwesi Ehun, also educated the public on the uses and benefits of the three new initiatives.