To achieve government’s revenue target for 2022, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has outlined eight major tax strategies which include the taxing of e-commerce, gaming and betting industries in a move to increase domestic revenue collection.
This was announced by the assistant commissioner-general in charge of Research and Policy at the GRA, Alex Kombat, during the 2021 Financial Year Audit launch by the Ghana Audit Service.
He said the Authority will roll out four of the eight strategies: namely online filing of taxes by the large taxpayers; taxing the betting and gaming industry; electronically increase the value-added tax (VAT) penetration; as well as taxing e-commerce.
“We are going to start taxing betting and gaming from 1 April 2022. Their activities are mostly online, and we have gotten some software that will help us to tax them,” he said.
The remaining strategies will focus on expanding the pay as you earn (PAYE) data by adding not less than two million new taxpayers, which should effectively increase taxpayers to about three million by the end of December 2022; meanwhile leveraging on property tax to increase rent tax by December 2022.
The GRA intends to intensify auditing of the extractive industry and intensify the conclusion of telcos audits by December 2022 – as well as introduce a debt to collection ratio of less than 5 percent or less by the close of December 2022.
The Authority, supported by Revenue Assurance and Compliance Enforcement (RACE), is expected to continue with its enhanced compliance measures to expand coverage and plug revenue leakages, given that revenue compliance and enforcement sit at the heart of domestic revenue mobilisation.
According to the 2022 budget, the modified taxation system introduced in 2015 through the Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act 896) is to provide a simplified system of tax compliance for the informal sector and small-scale individuals in business.
The policy will be implemented in 2022 to expand the tax net, make tax payment simpler, improve compliance, and ultimately enhance the contribution of people in this tax category to total tax revenue.
Also, basic record-keeping templates and simplified tax returns have been designed to support the policy. Consideration will be made to review the threshold from GHC200,000 to GHC500,000 per annum.
This year, despite effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, GRA is tasked to collect on behalf of government about GHC80.3billion in tax revenues – representing 79.89 percent of the total revenue of about GHC100.52billion for 2022.
Last year, the Authority was able to collect a little over GHC57.32billion against a target of GHC57.02billion.