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ajbabe
17th January 2012, 04:37 PM
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is set to pursue businesses that owe the state in order to retrieve all taxes as it aims to increase revenue mobilization in 2012.

The move is aimed at minimizing arrears to boost revenue collection this year.

George Blankson, Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority disclosed this to CITY& BUSINESS GUIDE in an exclusive interview in Accra after briefing journalists on the performance of GRA last year.

Though he could not give details about the category of businesses that would be affected, he urged the taxpayers to comply with the law and honour their tax obligations promptly.

He hinted that 'level of tax arrears is not too much but we must seek to bring it down.

'Of course we know that the collection of tax revenue is not clockwise where we will have every one paying on time. It is a human institution.

Measures that would be used include the institution of enforcement actions such as imposing distress warrants, and as a last resort when all avenues have been exhausted the assets of the tax debtors would be confiscated,' he indicated.

The Commissioner-General noted that 'taxpayers are GRA's key stakeholders who give us revenue and our first preference is to work with them.'

He stated that 'since the authority has flexible arrangements we have arrangements to give them time to pay and it is only when they fail that…even then we do so with a lot of reluctance.

'We have set up a special unit known as the debt management and enforcement.'

On the revenue performance for the past year, he announced that the GRA exceeded its revenue target for 2011.

Though the authority targeted GH˘7,544.66 million, it recorded a provisional amount of GH˘8,706,706.39 million at the end of December 2011, exceeding the target by GH˘1611.73 million, which represents an increase of 46.6 percent over the previous year's figure.

'This is a remarkable achievement,' said Mr. Blankson, who attributed that feat to efforts at integrating and modernizing revenue collection.

'The exceptional revenue performance of GRA in 2011 would not have been possible without the goodwill and support of taxpayers.'

Mr Blankson disclosed that the authority had been tasked to mobilize revenue of GH˘11,166.57 million for the treasury.

The breakdown covers GH˘5,035.21million and GH˘1,827.87million respectively from the direct and indirect units under the domestic tax office, while the Customs Division is expected to collect a total of GH˘4,303,49 million.

By Emelia Ennin Abbey