A Tax analyst, William Demitia is predicting of a huge distortion to revenue for the rest of the year if the Ghana Revenue Authority fails to address allegations of fake issuance of Tax Identification Numbers (TIN).
Reports suggest that some tax officials are complicit in the act and it is affecting taxpayers.
Citi Business News caught up with Mr. Demetia who wants the GRA management to act swiftly.
The issue on the fake TIN first came up when the Commissioner General of the GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti addressed participants at a Quarterly Multi-Stakeholder Business Integrity Forum, organized by the Ghana Integrity Initiative.
Mr. Nti expressed worry at the development and assured of the outfit’s resolve to deal with anyone found culpable.
But Senior Associate at Ali Nakyea and Associates, William Demitia said the development is not surprising considering probable lapses in the GRA’s systems.
Speaking to Citi Business News, he highlighted the adverse impact on revenue collection.
“If people can find their way around the system, it compromises the integrity of the system and the essence of the GRA rolling out the policy and requiring that even when people are filing cases in courts they must disclose that as a means, will not be achieved.”
Mr. Demitia added, “I think that the implication will be an impact on the revenue that the GRA is trying to raise because all these are to ensure that people pay the right taxes. But as to the level of the impact, we will have to look at the level of the genuine against the fake ones to be able to determine how it plays out in terms of revenue to the state,”
The Tax Identification Number policy has been one of the new mechanisms adopted by the GRA to rope in as many taxpayers as possible.
As part of enforcement, one cannot access passport, driver’s license, open a new bank account or register a business without a TIN.
As of April this year , the authority has issued over one million TIN numbers to Ghanaians, with the Commissioner General confirming that there has been an additional ninety thousand issuances, some five months ago.
Mr. Demitia again commented on possible sanctions that defaulters could face.
“In the law, it says when you aid and abet with anyone such that you deny government of revenue, it is an offense under the Revenue Administration Act and you can be prosecuted for that offense where you can either be fined or sent to prison. So it is just about us taking the initiative and putting in the mechanism and then apply the full force of the law,” he observed.