A tax analyst, Francis Timore Boi says replacement of the Tax Identification Number (TIN) with the Ghana Card number for tax identification purposes by the Ghana Revenue Authority will not necessarily result in the exponential growth in the country’s domestic revenues.
According to him, more needs to be done to ensure that those who are identified as new taxpayers actually pay their taxes.
The government announced a replacement of the TIN with the Ghana card number as part of efforts to identify and rope in more eligible taxpayers, especially those in the informal sector and enable organizations to easily share important data with the Ghana Revenue Authority.
This process started on April 1, 2021 and is expected to see the country’s domestic revenues increase.
But according to Timore Boi, an increase in tax revenues will depend on how the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) effectively take advantage of the development.
“We have to remind ourselves that the fact that someone has a national card doesn’t mean automatically the person will begin to walk to the GRA office and say they want to pay their tax. The first step in the revenue enhance is to be able to identify all the eligible taxpayers,” he said.
He added that the GRA must begin to strictly enforce is laws that sanction individuals who do not pay their taxes to ensure that many more people pay their taxes.
“We already have a system in place with penalty which attempts to sanction people who fail to register for taxes but for some reason, we have been applying it to only companies but for individuals we have neglected it for a very long time. The purpose is to rope in a lot of informal people, and so we hope that this will be able to bring a lot of people into the tax net,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Revenue Authority says registration officials of the National Identification Authority (NIA) are currently stationed at 14 GRA offices across the country to register individuals who do not possess a Ghana card.
They include the Registrar General’s Department at Accra, Taxpayer Service Center at Adabraka – Accra, Taxpayer Service Center at Asokwa in Kumasi, Taxpayer Service Center at Wa and Taxpayer Service Center at Cape Coast.
In a statement, they said registration officials of the NIA will however eventually be stationed at 63 other GRA locations to serve all taxpayers.
The statement also said there will be a transition period from April 1st, 2021 to December 31st, 2021 where both the TIN and Ghana Card PIN may be used simultaneously as the unique number for tax identification purposes.
After this period, it is expected that all existing TINs will be replaced with the Ghana Card PIN.
An online portal has also been created on the GRA website for existing taxpayers who have registered and have been issued with the Ghana card to link their Ghana card PIN to their TIN.
Any taxpayer with a Ghana card is expected to present it at any GRA office to be registered as a taxpayer.