On 29th July 2021, Ghana’s Minister for Finance Honourable Ken Ofori-Atta presented to Parliament the 2021 mid-year fiscal policy review of the budget statement and economic policy.
The important fiscal changes are summarised below.
Revenue Assurance and Compliance Enforcement (RACE)
The Revenue Assurance and Compliance Enforcement (RACE) will be established to add to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), and it will focus on fiscal compliance and enforcement.
The mid-year 2021 budget review provides that the remit of RACE is to identify and eliminate revenue leakages while reinforcing the culture of compliance nationwide. The formal launch is scheduled for early August 2021.
Taxation of E-Commerce by GRA
The mid-year 2021 budget review provides that to support the taxation of the digital economy (including online gambling), the GRA has developed an e-commerce platform for individuals and businesses in e-commerce to register. It has also prepared practice notes and administrative manuals for guidance purposes.
The platform will be launched in the third quarter of 2021.
National Identification Number Initiative
Effective as from April 2021, all taxpayers now have a single national identification number that can be used for identification, tax, and other purposes.
The Ghanian Government’s objective was to widen the tax net and use a single national identification number in place of the old taxpayer identification number and a separate identification number. It was reported that the initiative was successful and there has been an increase of registered individual taxpayer population from 4 million to over 12 million.
The old tax identification number will be phased out by the end of December 2021.
Tax Prosecution Unit
The 2021 mid-year review states that the GRA will fully activate the Prosecution Unit to bring in line recalcitrant taxpayers and other persons who infringe revenue laws. The Tax Prosecution Unit aim will be to drive compliance and reduce tax evasion and tax fraud.
The actual activation date was not provided for in the mid-year review.
We will keep you updated with any new information.
The 2021 mid-year review also provides for the establishment of tax courts. It states that this measure will be implemented this year and it will ensure the speedy trial of tax cases.
The operationalisation of the Independent Tax Appeals Board on the other hand will afford taxpayers the opportunity for redress where taxpayers are not satisfied with the actions of the revenue authority.