Ghana leveraging technology to enhance tax collection: VP
ACCRA, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — Ghana’s Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia said on Friday Ghana was leveraging technology to broaden the tax base and enhance tax collection.
He believes that Ghana has reached a stage in its development where it must adopt appropriate, current and improved technology to make tax administration convenient for taxpayers.
Ghana, with a population of 27 million, has only 1.2 million taxpayers, meaning the burden of taxation falls on a very small number of people.
Currently, the country’s tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio is much lower than it should be, hovering around 16 percent from the ideal 22 percent to 25 percent, which experts say poses a challenge to the economy.
Addressing delegates at the 38th annual technical conference of the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators, Bawumia said Ghana had engaged in a number of policies, including the digital national ID and the digital address system, all aimed at leveraging technology to be able to improve revenue collection.
“So once you are able to uniquely identify everyone with the help of technology, you are able to uniquely identify where everyone is, in terms of addresses whether businesses or residence; once you are able to provide a convenient means of payment of taxes for everyone, you have really been able to leverage technology to be able to improve revenue collections,” he said.
According to the vice–president, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) was taking advantage of technology to implement an e-solution platform called the Total Revenue Integrated Processing System (TRIPS) to administer taxes, and expressed the government’s eagerness to see how this innovation translates into higher tax yield and boost revenue mobilization.
“There is an urgency in building our domestic revenue mobilization and let us explore how best technology can help us achieve that goal,” said Bawumia.
The week-long conference provided a platform for networking among tax administrators within the Commonwealth as well as with representatives of international organizations, business and academic communities.