The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has set a net worth department to clamp down rich individuals who have failed to pay their due taxes.

Commissioner General of the GRA Rev. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, affirmed that the special unit is tasked with the sole objective to track down Ghana’s richest individuals with the motive of assessing their wealth and to compel them to commemsurate taxes.

According to him, GRA is working on some data analytics and through that they are able to crosscheck and match to the tax one is paying to verify if it tallies to what they are supposed to pay as tax.

“GRA has set up a completely different department called the high net worth individuals department. Previously, high net worth was only a part of another unit it was not a focus of attention and based upon this data as well as data that we are picking from the professional association so we are also doing that data matching so we’re getting the list of all net worth individuals, it cuts across everything,” he said.

Rev Owusu-Amoah cited an example where a data analysis was conducted on a rich pastor, whose tax payment trail was questionable looking at the nature of his dealings.

“In fact, I remember one instance we had to call one pastor and he said why are you calling me to pay high net worth and I said we’ve done analysis on you and when we got chatting, he came to my office and said I only sit on two boards and I said oh no you sit on five boards. He said how do you know?

“So I started listing and he said oh that one I don’t get anything, this one I don’t get anything. Eventually, he admitted that he sits on five boards and not two boards. Once you do that the compliance comes in,” he said.

He added that since the data analysis has worked in many instances, GRA is of the expectation that this year “we [GRA] would actually go three times what we did on the high net worth on the amount of revenue.”

He further intimated that Authority has “done the assimilations and we have done the various variables that we have put into our own system and we have an idea of what we will bring.

After we have done all the validations and done with the sector ministry, at the right time we will let the public know our expectations. GRA is also putting together strategies to ensure that revenue will also come in.”

This decision comes at a time when a recent survey conducted by Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) Afrobarometer conducted with report indicating that Ghanaians endorse taxation and are even willing to pay higher taxes to support the country’s development although there has been some addition in taxes.