Business News of Wednesday, 17 April 2019
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) plans to introduce the payment of Vehicle Income Tax (VIT), Personal Income Tax and e-tax stamp via mobile phones in order to widen the tax net.
Speaking at a sensitisation programme for stakeholders, Mr Kwasi Bobie-Ansah, the Head of Communication and Public Affairs at the GRA, said it was time the Authority departed from its manual approach.
The stakeholders, which include the various trade unions and associations, were taken through the various modules of the new and proposed payment plan.
Mr Bobie-Ansah said over the years, the Authority’s operations had largely been manual especially with tax payment process, filing of annual and monthly returns, submission of self-assessment estimates and submission of declarations of import duty payments.
He said the mobile money payment platform being proposed had been designed to initially enable commercial transport operators who pay their quarterly tax through the VIT sticker system to pay through mobile money.
He said, it would also enable the Small-Scale Self-employed persons who pay their quarterly through tax stamp system and other persons who pay personal income tax to honour their tax obligations using the mobile money platform.
Mr Bobie-Ansah said the Customs Division of the GRA had started the implementation of the paperless clearance of imported goods from the ports as spearheaded by Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice President of the Republic.
He said about two weeks ago, the Vice President again launched the Integrated Tax Application and Preparation System to enable individuals to file their annual personal income tax returns electronically.
Mr Bobie-Ansah said GRA would hold series of sensitisation programmes nationwide for the various interest groups to make the necessary inputs, adding that once the system was fully developed, all stakeholders would be informed before implementation.
Mr Patrick Frimpong Danso, an Officer at the Domestic Tax Division, taking the participants through the new proposed model of payments, said it would allow tax payers to make payment from the comfort of their homes.
Mr Danso said under the proposed model, Uber Ghana would be appointed by GRA to withhold income tax of Uber Drivers, which would then be paid to the Authority.
He said the new proposed model of payment would increase the country’s rating on the World Bank’s ease of doing business as well as reduce the cost of and time required to pay tax.
He said under the proposed model, VIT payment would be done through the mobile payment system and would not require drivers to keep VIT stickers in front of their vehicles, which would allow law enforcers to now check status of registration using a particular USSD code.