The government has finally decided to automate the process of obtaining and issuing Tax Clearance Certificates (CCT) nationwide.
Even though the Commissioner General has a system of Tax Clearance Certificates (TCC) under Sections 10 & 11 of the Revenue Administration Act to promote tax compliance, the process of obtaining the clearance certificate has always been done manually with the issuance of handwritten certificates over the years.
This has often been characterised by delays in the issuance of tax clearance certificates by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), coupled with challenges in verifying genuine TCCs by recipients, the use of Fake TCCs, and alleged malpractices of some Tax Officials among others.
It is for this reason Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia directed the leadership of the GRA to automate the process of obtaining Tax Clearance Certificates.
Speaking at the 10th annual international Tax Conference in Accra earlier today, Vice Bawumia however said “I am glad to announce to you that this process has been completed and will go live by October.”
With this, applicants are required to log in to their taxpayer portal and apply for the TCC online under Section 14 of the Revenue Administration Act from the new feature that has been made available on its online Platforms.
The system then does the background check to ensure that there are no outstanding tax returns and payments and then issues to successful applicants with Electronic Tax Clearance Certificate automatically.”
The electronic copy Tax Clearance Certificate is also sent to the requestee- a third Party who has demanded the Certificate whilst unsuccessful applicants are then served with reasons for their denial of the automatic TCC.
According to Dr. Bawumia, “this automation of repetitive tasks is aimed at reducing the discretionary use of powers and its attendant alleged corruption by public officials while promoting voluntary compliance and a friendly taxpaying environment.”
Apart from that, he said, “the issue of fake TCC will be a thing of the past, delays would be eliminated, and there would be enhanced transparency through the automatic verification and electronic issuance of the TCC to the Taxpayer and the requesting institution.”
Going forward, he indicated that “we will also have a USSD code that allows every Ghanaian to check on their tax compliance status by dialing *899*42#, and you will be able to know whether you are tax compliant or not.”
He, therefore, encouraged all Ghanaians and entities to check their tax compliance status, saying “if they are not compliant, they can immediately file their tax returns and settle any outstanding on their mobile phone.
Given that government has now made it very easy for anyone to file and pay their taxes, from next year many, public services will require the presentation of tax clearance certificates before the services are rendered. This will enhance compliance and therefore domestic revenue mobilization.
On his part, Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana School of Law, and Managing Partner of Ali-Nakyea and Associates, Dr. Abdallah Ali-Nakyea, delivering a paper on taxation at the event, entreated the government to pay attention to the tax losses being incurred by the country.
“The problem we have that we need to address if we need to improve revenue mobilization in the country is how to close the tax gap. The tax gap shows the difference between what potentially we can take and collect and what we are collecting,” he asserted.
He was of the view that if the tax gap is not blocked, the more taxes introduced or the higher the tax rates, it will not yield anything meaningful and that closing the gap is enough to enable the government’s projected tax/GDP ratio of 22 to 25 percent.
The Conference was organised under the theme “Improving domestic tax revenue mobilization: a consultative.
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Source: DGN Online