GRA Exceeds 2020 Revenue Target By Ghc 2.5bn Amid Coronavirus

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says it exceeded its revenue target for the fiscal year 2020 despite the challenges posed by coronavirus.

Acting Commissioner-General of GRA, Rev. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, made this known to the media at a press soiree held on Friday, January 22, 2021 at the Alisa Hotel in Accra.

Presenting the 2020
Revenue Performance of GRA, he said the Authority was initially budgeted to collect total tax revenue of GH₵ 47,253.95 million for the 2020 fiscal year, adding that this represented 7.6% growth over the actual tax revenue collections of GH₵ 43,907.12 million for the 2019 fiscal year.

However, he stated that as a result of the impact of COVID-19 global pandemic, the budget was revised to GH₵ 42,769.50 million.

He said the revised budget represented 2.6% negative growth over the actual revenue collection of GH₵ 43,907.12 million in 2019.

” I am delighted to announce that despite the COVID- 19 pandemic and its negative impact on businesses, the GRA was able to meet its 2020 revised revenue target,” he announced to the press.

He noted that the Authority was tasked to collect a revised tax revenue target of GH₵ 42,769.50.

As at December 2020, he reported, GRA had collected GH₵ 45,338.69 million exceeding the budget by GH₵ 2,569.19 million thus, with a positive deviation of 6.0%.

This performance, he explained, represents a nominal growth rate of 3.3% over the same period in 2019.

In 2020, according to him, domestic revenue grew by a nominal rate of 2.8% while Customs collection grew by 4.5%.

“The reasons for this performance can be attributed to factors such as: – Target (GH₵ 22,153.64 billion) Collection (GH₵ 22, 212.66) – Target (GH₵ 9,698.66) Collection (GH₵ 10,583.37)
– Target (GH₵ 10,917.20) Collection (GH₵ 12,583.37),” he said.

Increased and Targeted Compliance exercises

“The Authority undertook a lot of compliance exercises which unearthed revenue that would have been undetected and also blocked some loopholes.”

He added that audits were strengthened and a new department, the Tax Audit and Quality Assurance Department was set up and these went a long way to aid revenue mobilization.

Integrated Tax Application and Preparation System

According to him, the Authority partially rolled out the Integrated Tax Application and Preparation System (ITaPS) for online filing of Personal Income Tax for employees.

With payment of taxes online, bulk payments happened through Ghana.Gov, he said, adding that this helped greatly in mobilizing revenue in the face of COVID-19 and helped to limit movement of persons and also decongest our offices.

“Integrated Customs Management Systems
(ICUMS) was introduced in the course of 2020 with some initial challenges. However, by the close of the year, the system was running almost perfectly with the relevant stakeholders attesting to its improvement. The system also contributed significantly to the improved performance of Customs,” he said.

He noted that total revenue generated from 1st March, 2020 to 9th
January, 2021 through ICUMS was GH₵ 11,651,635,820.46.

The soaring of gold prices on the world market contributed to an increase in the operations of the mining sector with a resultant increase in tax revenue, according to him.

Likewise, he added, the financial sector and the telecommunication industry also saw improved performance.

Also, he said a number of enforcement exercises were carried out on defaulting taxpayers leading to the collection of taxes owed, interest and penalties.

2021 Revenue Target

He announced that in 2021, while waiting for the Ministry of Finance to come out with the budget for the year, GRA has set for itself an aggressive target to collect a provisional tax revenue of GHC60 billion.

” This constitutes a 32.3% increase over the 2020 actual collection.”

” This task I must admit, appears quite daunting at first sight, but this will not deter us as an organisation. With hard work, a right attitude and innovative measures, we can achieve the target.”

By Melvin Tarlue