The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has introduced a mobile application to help improve tax collections and filing of returns in the country.
The Integrated Tax Application and Preparation System app (ITAPS), according to GRA, has been introduced to serve as a one-stop shop for all its services online.
Solutions Developer at GRA, Patrick Frimpong-Danso says the app would help improve revenue collections.
“The purpose is to make sure that we reduce the cost of compliance to the taxpayer so it will help the taxpayer,” he said.
Mr Frimpong-Danso spoke to JoyBusiness after a media engagement by the GRA. The engagement forms part of its 2019 Tax and Good Governance Week Celebration on the theme “File your Returns; Pay your Taxes, Move Ghana beyond Aid.”
The GRA launched the Week’s celebration and the initiative (ITAPS) developed to aid electronic filing of tax returns.
The Commissioner General of GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti expressed confidence the app will help the authority meet its revenue target.
He said, “ITAPS is a compliance tool and to that extent, it would improve on our revenue; but to what extent? We will know from the after effect; six months down the line we will be able to speak to.”
The app is an e-services platform that will enable taxpayers to prepare, apply and receive GRA services online. With this, both individuals and companies will be able to file their annual tax returns at their own convenience.
The app also allows, electronically, access to TAX Clearance Certificate (e-TCC) as well as Withholding Tax Credit Certificate (e-Tax Credit) and VAT Withholding Tax Credit Certificate (e-VAT Credit)
According to the GRA, the introduction of the app follows calls by the Vice President, Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, to move away from the manual filing of taxes to a digital module to increase compliance.
The Authority says the app will complement government’s efforts in improving its rank on the ease of doing business. GRA also seeks to reduce cost and time required by taxpayers to comply with tax laws.
By way of record keeping, the ITAPS seeks to assist taxpayers to keep the records required to fulfil their tax obligations. GRA also aims to improve its performance of Tax Administration Diagnostic Tools (TADAT) ranking under voluntary compliance.
The digital app will also improve the quality of tax returns submitted by the payers. According to the GRA issues surrounding revenue assurance, convenience and simplicity have also been addressed by the app. As a result, taxpayers have the option of either filing their returns via mobile money or online.
GRA has revealed that it owns and manages the mobile app. It also indicated that it was designed and developed by a Ghanaian company.
The authority has assured of the app’s security indicating that it is 'https' protected.
GRA says it is working with SSNIT, NIA among other organizations in terms of data sharing to ensure optimum benefit.
ITAPS will be run concurrently with the manual way of transactions until all taxpayers become acquainted with the new device.
The Authority has revealed that plans available to ensure that the informal sector does not have any challenge transacting on the app. It has however hinted of routine education and campaigns in the coming days.
The service will be available on both working days and weekends.
The first phase of the ITAPS mobile application will be officially launched on Friday, April 5, 2019. This will allow only individual taxpayers accessibility for the time being.
GRA has however hinted the second phase which would include companies and multinationals should be introduced by June this year.