The hitherto long and time-consuming process of filing and payment of taxes and manual issuance of tax clearance certificates would forever be a thing of the past as a fully automated process goes live by October, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has announced.
The Vice President said the Ghana Revenue Authority, at his direction, have created a fully automated online process of paying taxes and subsequently, being issued with an electronic tax clearance certificate.
The new process would be hassle-free and can be done from the comfort of your home, Bawumia declared, adding he hoped this would make most Ghanaians eager to be tax compliant and enhance domestic revenue generation in the process.
The Vice President made this revelation during a speech delivered at the 10th Annual International Tax Conference organized by the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Ghana in Accra.
“For the purpose of promoting tax compliance, the Commissioner-General has maintained a system of Tax Clearance Certificates (TCC) in accordance with Sections 10 & 11 of the Revenue Administration Act. This process of obtaining the clearance certificate has been done manually with the issuance of a handwritten certificates over the years. It has been characterized with delays in the issuance by GRA, challenges in verifying genuine TCCs by recipients, the use of Fake TCCs, alleged malpractices of some Tax Officials among others.
“It is from this background that I directed the leadership of the GRA to automate the process of obtaining Tax Clearance Certificates and I am glad to announce to you that this process has been completed and will go live by October,” the Vice President disclosed.
To begin the process, Ghanaians would have to log on to the taxpayer portal and apply for the TCC online in accordance with Section 14 of the Revenue Administration Act from the new feature that has been made available on the Platforms.
The system does the background check to ensure there are no outstanding tax returns and payments and then issues to successful applicants an Electronic Tax Clearance Certificate automatically.
“The electronic copy Tax Clearance Certificate is also sent to the requestee- third Party who has demanded for the Certificate. Unsuccessful applicants are then served with reasons for their denial of the automatic eTCC.
“From the foregoing it is evident the issue of fake TCC will be a thing of the past, delays would be eliminated, and there would be enhanced transparency through the automatic verification and electronic issuance of the TCC to the Taxpayer and the requesting institution,” the Vice President added.
The Ghana Revenue Authority has introduced a taxpayers app, available on the Google Play Store and the App Store, as well as on www.taxpayersportal.com.
The use of the portals enables the taxpayer to view balances on their ledgers (tax position at any time), get reminders on due dates for payments of tax liabilities, file all tax returns and get credits with tax credit when one suffers withholding tax.
“As a taxpayer, you no longer need to join long queues in tax offices to pay taxes, simply pay on the Ghana.gov payment platform or any of the commercial banks of your choice. All you require to sign up is the Ghana card number as citizens or non-citizens or TIN for entities to comply with your tax obligations online,” Dr Bawumia explained.
The Ghana Revenue Authority has also introduced a USSD code that allows every Ghanaian to check on their tax compliance status by dialling *899*42#.
“All Ghanaians and all entities are therefore encouraged to check their tax compliance status. If they are not compliant, they can immediately file their tax returns and settle any outstanding on their mobile phone.” the Veep added.