GRA records 22.3% revenue growth in 2017
The performance of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in 2017 recorded a nominal growth rate of 22.3% over the 2016 collection figures.
GRA collected GH¢32.3 billion (GH¢32,313.37 billion), compared to the GH¢27 billion in 2016.
In 2017, the GRA was tasked to collect GH¢33,434.20 billion. As of the end of the year, the provisional collection figure is GH¢32,313.37 billion. This represents a shortfall of GH¢1.1 billion (GH¢1,120.83 million), a negative deviation of 3.4%.
In 2016, the GRA was charged to collect GH¢29 billion, but it was able to collect 27.8 billion, recording a shortfall of GH¢1.2 billion.
Even though the 2016 target was not achieved, the revenue performance represents a nominal growth of 25.4 per cent. Commissioner-General of GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti explained that when he assumed office last year, collection in terms of the US dollar was stagnant in the region of $6.8–6.9 billion.
For 2017, he said, collection rose to $7.6 billion, representing a break from the trend.
GH¢13.2bn Domestic Taxes collected
Direct collection was GH¢13.2 billion (GH¢13,251.63), as against a target of GH¢12.8 billion (GH¢12,829.82 billion).
On the other hand, GH¢6.3 billion (GH¢6,368.00) of indirect taxes was collected, as against a target of GH¢6.6billion (GH¢6,660.72). The Customs Division was given a target of GH¢13.9 billion (GH¢13,943.66), but was able to collect GH¢12.6 billion (GH¢12,693.74).
Nti noted that the authority really put up a sterling performance, especially in the last six months, but still fell short of the target marginally. He was optimistic that GRA can achieve the tax revenue of GH¢39.8 billion set for 2018, representing an anticipated increase of 23.26 per cent over the 2017 collection of GH¢32.3 billion.
He said the target was achievable on the back of hard work and the roll out of innovative measures in the course of the year. “Yes, the journey may be daunting, but we believe with the introduction of adequate strategies, we can surmount the hurdle,” Mr Nti said.
He said the Electronic Point of Sales Device and the Excise Tax Stamp policies, which could not be implemented last year, would commence in 2018, and are expected to increase tax revenues, reduce the incidence of VAT and Excise Duty suppression and monitoring of sales, among others.
Besides, the authority will also this year implement the VAT Amendment Act, which requires the appointment of withholding agents by the Commissioner-General to withhold payment to a VAT registered supplier of seven per cent of the taxable value of the supply and remit same directly to the Commissioner-General.
“Let me be quick to add that all these interventions are not new taxes but compliance measures to ensure that all VAT/NHIL due to government is paid,” he said.
Nti said the GRA would roll out Total Revenue Integrated Processing System to the remaining 10 Domestic Tax Revenue Division offices during the first quarter of the year.
He said the authority would also improve the infrastructure to ensure officers work in conducive environment while capacity-building programmes would continue to enhance professional performance.
On tax initiatives for economic growth, Mr Nti said tax incentives for young entrepreneurs, which seeks to grant tax holidays to entrepreneurs aged 35 year, and income tax threshold to protect low income earners will be implemented.
Nti said there also plans to introduce a Voluntary Disclosure Procedures in the Revenue Administration Act to waive penalty on voluntary disclosures and payment of unreported and understand taxes by taxpayers.