“We Will Intensify Tax Compliance” – Finance Minister
The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Honorable Ken Ofori-Atta, has reiterated government’s commitment to the enforcement of existing tax laws and possibly widen the current tax net across the country to generate more revenue for development.
Delivering his mid-year budget in Parliament yesterday, he noted that, as part of efforts to improve the revenue performance, the ministry had resolved to intensify tax compliance and plug all existing revenue leakages.
“We are intensifying the compliance measures to ensure that we collect the taxes that are due us”, he said.
According to the Finance Minister, investigations conducted by the Ministry showed, not only tax leakages in terms of goods arriving in the country, but also significant outstanding tax debts and suspense regimes in the areas of warehousing, transit- trade and trade-free zones.
Hon. Ofori-Atta also cited some tax audit issues that came out from the Ministry’s investigation, which included limited coverage and low audit yields.
He said in order to resolve the afore-mentioned tax compliance issues, the Ministry would roll out broad initiatives to deal with the menace of tax evasion.
The initiatives, he disclosed, could include prosecution of tax evaders and corrupt tax officials, the setting up of a special Value Added Tax (VAT) Task Force to ensure enforcement and deepen VAT penetration from the current low levels of 11 per cent.
“Tax compliance will also be boosted by the implementation of the common platform for communications traffic monitoring”, Hon. Ofori-Atta added.
Tax of Telcos
According to him, the Ministry would put in place a new Revenue Protection and Assurance Unit for mobile money monitoring and fraud management.
He also reaffirmed that the common platform would help government have an accurate and more comprehensive view of telecommunication revenue in order to verify tax compliance, and to ensure a comprehensive billing and collection of all telecom-related taxes, levies and regulatory fees.
He denied allegations that he intended to increase the existing VAT rate in the country.
By: Brenda Osei Karikari