Ghanaian News

GRA bags GH¢113bn in 2023 – Highest collection in 20 years

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) collected a tax revenue of GH¢113.06 billion last year, GH¢3.87 billion more than it was tasked to collect.

The performance represents a nominal growth rate of 49.3 per cent over the 2022 fiscal year, which the GRA described as the highest ever in the last 20 years.

For the 2023 fiscal year, the authority was tasked to collect GH₵106 billion in tax revenue, representing a 40 per cent growth over the GH¢75.71 billion collected for 2022. The revenue target was later revised to GH₵109.19 billion.

Recorded growth
In an interview, the Commissioner-General of GRA, Rev. Dr Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, said: “I am happy to announce that we recorded a year-on-year growth of 49.3 per cent, the highest ever recorded in the last 20 years and the highest tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio of 14.1 per cent in the last six years.

He said the authority’s target was revised in the 2023 Mid-Year Budget to GH₵109.19 billion which was an upward adjustment of GH₵3.20 billion or three per cent.

Rev. Dr Owusu-Amoah said domestic tax revenue grew by 54 per cent and contributed 73 per cent of the total revenue raised in the year, whereas tax revenue from international trade, also referred to as customs duties, grew by 38.2 per cent and contributed 27 per cent to total tax revenue.

In 2023, tax revenue growth, the Commissioner-General said, more than doubled within two years, a feat which occurred only in 2011 and 2012 when the country started the production of crude oil in commercial quantities.

The authority has also recorded the highest ever tax buoyancy, the efficiency and responsiveness of tax revenue mobilisation to growth in the economy, of 1.5 in 2021 and also 2023.

Reasons for performance
Rev. Dr Owusu-Amoah attributed the authority’s performance to the intensified compliance exercises carried out during the year to recover overdue liabilities as well as provisional assessments for 2023.

He also mentioned the high payment of Corporate Income Tax (CIT), especially from the banks.

In 2023, the banks paid GH₵3.95 billion corporate income tax (CIT) compared to the GH¢2.55 billion paid in 2022, he said, adding “these payments indicated a growth rate of 54.8 per cent or GH₵1.4 billion.”

Dr Owusu-Amoah also cited the performance of major mining firms, which were traditionally the highest contributors to CIT.

In 2023, the contribution of the mining companies grew by 39.6 per cent from GH₵4.42 billion in 2022 to GH¢6.14 billion.

The relatively good price of gold saw an increase of 15.8 per cent over the price in 2022, especially in the last quarter of the year, which contributed to the performance of the mining companies.

Also, Rev. Dr Owusu-Amoah said, an increase in revenue from one per cent withholding tax at the ports and the intensified field work in the collection of tax stamps from micro businesses, especially artisans and Vehicle Income Tax (VIT) payments, which resumed full scale during the year after its suspension as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, contributed to the authority’s achievement.

Additionally, the effective classification and valuation of goods, improvement in monitoring of leakages such as under-valuation and misdescription of goods by the Customs Division contributed to enhancement in revenue performance.

The Commissioner-General said domestic Value Added Tax (VAT) registered a year-on-year growth of 61.9 per cent although it fell short of its target by 9.9 per cent.

The growth, he explained, also resulted from intensive compliance and invigilation exercises carried out during the year.

The passage of the upfront VAT payment Act in May last year also enhanced the performance by roping in GH¢173.89 million.

Rev. Dr Owusu-Amoah again attributed the performance to an improvement in the import VAT performance during the year, which exceeded its 3.5 per cent, recording a growth of 53.3 per cent.

“E-Levy also registered year-on-year growth of 85.7 per cent.

The tax type saw an increase in transaction levels compared to the previous year.

There was an increase in the level of transaction with a bump in revenue in December 2023 due to the increase in person-to-person transfers,” he said.

The Commissioner-General expressed appreciation to the dedicated and hardworking staff of the authority, taxpayers and stakeholders for contributing to the success story of the significant strides in growing tax revenue.

This year, the GRA has been tasked to mobilise GH¢146 billion and the Commissioner General is optimistic the authority would exceed the target through the dedication of staff of the authority and collaboration of taxpayers.

Rev. Dr Owusu-Amoah appealed to all eligible individuals and businesses that earn income to contribute their fair share towards the socio-economic development of the country.

He gave an assurance that the authority would continue with its efforts to expand the tax net with the various initiatives announced in the 2024 Budget Statement.

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