File tax returns by April ending – Ofori-Atta tells taxpayers

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The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has urged taxpayers to file their tax returns for 2021 with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) by the end of April 2022 to ensure compliance with the tax laws and promote revenue mobilisation.

His call, he explained, was in line with the Income Tax Act 2015 (Act 896) and the Revenue Administration Act 2016 (Act 915), which enjoined taxpayers to file their tax returns with the Commissioner-General, GRA, not later than four months after the year of assessment.

Mr Ofori-Atta made the call at the launch of this year’s “Tax and Good Governance Month” in Accra last Thursday.

April each year is set aside by the GRA as tax month to increase awareness of the importance of filing annual tax returns, paying taxes and complying with the tax laws.

This year’s tax month is on the theme: “Filing Tax Returns Online: The Convenient Way”.

Activities lined up for the month include tax clinics, radio and TV discussions and tax education in schools and faith-based organisations.

Tax net

Mr Ofori-Atta said the filing of tax returns would further ensure that all income earners came into the tax net and contributed to national development to achieve the “Ghana beyond Aid” agenda.

He said the 2022 filing of tax returns was being done on the developed application “taxpayers portal” and commended the GRA for digitalising the operational processes.

The portal, he stated, was a secure tax management tool which enabled taxpayers to file their returns, initiate payments, apply for refunds, undertake cashless policy and other transactions with ease and convenience.

The digital operational processes of the GRA, he said, would help in the realisation of the GH¢80.3 billion revenue target for 2022.

The minister urged the public to pay their taxes to enable the government to provide infrastructure, employment and other social interventions for the citizenry.

Compliance

The Commissioner-General of the GRA, Rev. Dr Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, said effective the end of April this year, taxpayers could ascertain their tax compliance status online.

He said that was part of an innovation by the authority to improve tax compliance.

He said the new system, which would include the use of a structured supplementary service data (USSD) code on mobile phones, would “allow citizens to key in their tax identification numbers or national identification numbers and find out their tax status”.

Additionally, he said, organisations that required to know the tax status of their clients before rendering services could use the system to obtain information easily.

“Filing of tax returns will no longer be an option; it will be mandatory for all, even though it had been mandatory all this while. You cannot decide not to file and pay your taxes,” he stated.

Focus

Rev. Dr Owusu-Amoah said the GRA was focused on using digital tools to facilitate compliance with tax returns to increase revenue mobilisation for Ghana’s development.

He mentioned the E-levy, E-commerce, expanding the Pay-As-You-Earn and leveraging rent tax as some of the new initiatives to be rolled out to widen the tax net.

The Head, Domestic Tax Revenue Division, GRA, Mr Edward Apenteng Gyamerah, advised taxpayers to register with the authority, file their accurate tax returns on their business operations and ensure that all taxes due were paid to avoid any sanctions.

On the payment of tax, he said taxpayers had the right to information on their tax receipts, the right to object to an assessment of their documents and the right to confidentiality.

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