The Medium and Small Tax Offices of the Domestic Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in Tamale recorded impressive performance last year by collecting taxes in excess of their target for the year.
The Medium Tax Office (MTO) of GRA in Tamale collected GH¢33,707,508.12 million as against a target of GH¢25,772,482.49 million, whiles the Small Tax Office (STO) of GRA in Tamale exceeded its GHc16 million target by nine per cent.
Mr Roland Miah, Assistant Commissioner in-charge of the Tamale MTO of GRA, and Alhaji Harruna Sachibu, Head of Tamale STO of GRA, took turns to announce the figures at a press soiree organized by the GRA in Tamale over the weekend.
The event was to strengthen the relationship between the GRA and the media in the Region.
Mr Miah attributed the success in collecting high taxes from businesses in the Northern Region to certain strategies adopted by his outfit, which included tax education, frequent visit to tax payers premises, vigorous pursuit and mopping up of tax arrears, being proactive in raising assessments on companies that failed to submit returns and assessments, and imposition of necessary penalties for non- compliance.
He cited low self-assessment of chargeable income and late submission of accounts by tax payers as major challenges as some tax payers even went to the extent of declaring zero profits in attempt to avoid paying tax, a situation, which made MOT of GRA to impose appropriate penalties after verification and auditing.
He announced that “This year, 2016, we have a target of GH¢42.50 million, which we hope to achieve through the adoption of the same strategies”.
Mr Miah urged the media in the Region to engage in tax reporting to educate the populace about their civic rights and obligations particularly on issues related to taxation to improve tax compliance.
Mr Sachibu said STO of GRA in Tamale intended to widen the tax net by exploring, identifying and registering new tax payers, increase both filing rate and on time filing by 66 per cent amongst other strategies to achieve its 2016 target of GH¢21 million.
Mr Caesar Abagali, Northern Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists’ Association assured that the media would constantly highlight issues of tax compliance to ensure that people paid tax to help in the development of the country.