Major revenue collection bodies bagged GHC 4,567 million last year

The Customs Excise and Preventive Service, (CEPS) Internal Revenue Service, (IRS) and the Value Added Tax Service, (VATS) collected a total tax revenue of GHC 4,567.00 million last year. Out of this amount, the IRS and VATS collected domestic tax of GHC 2,544 million. Major Ablorh Quarcoo (RTD), Commissioner of IRS said this at a joint management retreat of the VATS and IRS in Koforidua on Friday. He said the total national revenue this year was expected to grow by 20 percent but domestic tax revenue had to grow at 26.5 percent. Major Ablor explained that domestic tax revenue had to outpace customs duties, petroleum taxes to compensate for the drop in that type of tax revenue otherwise there would be a significant fall in Government Revenue. Major Quarcoo observed that the target comes with its obvious challenges, especially, when the shape of the Integrated Revenue Agencies had not yet crystallized. He said the building blocks of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) were being put in place and at the same time both agencies had the responsibility of mobilizing revenue. "One, therefore, has to do a very fine balancing act to ensure that none of the two is sacrificed and also have a seamless transition into an integrated body." He observed that the road to integration was obviously not going to be easy adding that it would call for a lot of commitment, training and possibly sacrifices on the part of all management and staff. Mr Samuel Sallas Mensah, Executive Secretary of the Revenue Agencies Governing Board, (RAGB) observed that revenue mobilization in a developing country such as Ghana was not an easy task. He said, however, that with the support of the Government, the RAGB was determined to make the job less burdensome by providing the needed logistics and resources so that the staff would feel motivated to deliver the goods. Mr Sallas Mensah reiterated that the jobs of staff of the Revenue Agencies were assured in the new GRA. He, however, challenged the staff to update themselves with the requisite skills needed in the current job market so that they could handle the complex operations of some taxpayers. Mr Sallas Mensah said the Government expected a total tax revenue of GHC 6,072.2 million from the IRS, CEPS and VATS for the year. "The Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax has been a regular source of revenue over the years. But the expansion will create a shortfall from that type". Mr Ernest Kwesie, Chairman of the RAGB, who presided, appreciated the critical role the revenue agencies played in the growth and development of the country. He said with the integration of the Revenue Agencies, it was his expectation that they would be able to improve services rendered to taxpayers so that voluntary compliance would increase and be the norm rather than the exception.