The Bolgatanga District branch of the Small Tax Office (STO) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) collected a total revenue of GH¢3, 298,880.36 as at the end of May this year as against its target of GH¢2,937,440.00.

This exceeded its set target by 34.14 per cent as against a shortfall of 1.7 per cent during the same period in 2013.

The revenue target set for 2014 was GH¢7216446.00 as against GH¢6,674,660.42 for 2013 and there are indications that the target for this year would be exceeded.

Mr Mahama Dauda Askia, the Bolgatanga Small Tax Office (STO) Manager, disclosed this at a one day educational seminar for over 151 stakeholders represented by district finance officers, accountants and chief executives of businesses drawn from its catchment area.

The seminar formed part of the 2014 Public Education Campaign by the Domestic Tax Revenue Division of the GRA, geared towards widening the tax net as well as keeping them abreast of the tax laws of Ghana and the reforms being rolled out.

According to Mr. Askia, the thrust of the reforms was to ensure an increase in the level of voluntary compliance of the tax laws.

Participants were taken through topics such as book-keeping, how to implement the withholding tax and enforcement of the rent tax laws.

Mr Askia said by the end of 2016 it was desired that all qualified taxable Ghanaians would have complied with the new tax identification number registration as well as the re-registration of tax payers in the country.

He expressed the hope that the seminar would enhance the understanding of the tax laws of the country to help attain high levels of compliance by all citizens towards their tax obligations.

Alhaji Sualah-Abdul-Raheem Head of Audit of the GRA, touching on the withholding tax regime, explained that the law required that a person effecting payment for supply of goods and services rendered to deduct the exact tax at source and to pay the same to the GRA.

He pointed out that though compliance to this law was about 60 per cent in the region, much more remained to be done.

Mr Patrick Somuah, head of Debt Management who dealt with record-keeping, filing of returns, and rights and obligations of tax payers, emphasised the importance of filing returns and cautioned that those who attempt to cover up by under-declaring would be sanctioned when caught.

On his part, Mr Jerry Adu Poku, head of Tax Payer Services Unit, who spoke on rent indicated that, residential premises attract a tax rate of 8 per cent whilst that of commercial purposes such as banks was assessed at 15 per cent.

He warned that anybody who defaults in forwarding withholding tax meant for the GRA within three months would pay penalty of between 20-30 per cent.

The catchment area for the Bolganga District Officer of the GRA include the Bolgantanga and Kassena Nankana municipalities, the Paga, Bongo Zebilla, Bawku West Gane-Tempane Nabdam and Talensi Districts.   


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