2017 Gh¢33.4 Billion Revenue Targeted Missed

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Story By: Akutu Dede Adimer, Accra.
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) 2017 revenue target of GH¢33.434.20 billion recorded a shortfall of GH¢1.120.83 million, representing a negative deviation of 3.4 percent.
This simply means that, GRA, a key organization responsible for collection of taxes for government couldn’t meet it set revenue target of GH¢33.4 billion for the state in 2017.
However, government, knowing very well that GRA couldn’t meet its target for 2017 has again tasked this same organization to collect a whooping GH¢39.8 billion as taxes for the state in 2018. The figure represents an anticipated increase of 23.26 percent over the 2017 collection of GH¢33.4 billion. In 2017, out of a revenue target of GH¢33.434.20 billion, the authority collected GH¢32.313 billion.
Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti, Commissioner – General of Ghana Revenue Authority explaining their inability to meet 2017 target, said the Excise Tax Stamp (ETS) policy which was expected to commence last year did not take off as scheduled.
Additionally, the Value Added Tax (VAT) fell short by GH¢323 million, while the implementation of the Electronic Point of Sale Device (EPSD) project which was expected to start in 2017 to improve collection of VAT could also not take off.
Mr. Kofi Nti, said notwithstanding the fact that the authority failed to meet its target, “our performance saw a nominal growth.”
According to him, the authority put up a sterling performance, especially in the last six months of 2017, but still fell short of the revenue target marginally.
He was quick to add that, although the revenue target for 2018 was higher, GRA was optimistic that with hard work and innovative measures and strategies, the authority could achieve it.
On tax initiatives for economic growth, Mr. Nti, told journalists at a press soiree that young entrepreneurs, aged 35 and below who start their businesses in specified sectors would be granted tax holidays.
He said, personal or individual income tax thresholds have been pegged to the current minimum wage to protect low income earners and ensure fairness in the income tax administration.
The GRA boss also added that, Parliament had already passed the Tax Amnesty Act to exempt tax payers who register and file returns within a stated period from paying penalties and interest for late submission or late payment of returns.
However, economic and financial analyst say that with only 1.2 million people out of a current population of about 29 million paying tax, what magic or strategy could the GRA perform to meet its revenue target of GH¢39.8 billion for 2018.