September 19, 2020

Tackling tax-related disputes: Revenue Administration Bill goes through 2nd reading stage

Individuals or organizations that have issues with tax decisions made by the Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, GRA, should be able to seek redress when the Revenue Administration (Amendment) Bill, 2020 comes into force.

The Bill will also allow for the payment of a shortfall in tax liability due to omissions or misstatements, without the payment of penalty.

On Monday 13th July, 2020, the Bill went through its second reading in Parliament.

Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah, says when passed, the bill will reduce the amount of money the GRA spends in pursuing some taxes.

“The Committee observed that the establishment of the independent tax appeals board to hear tax matters prior to adjudication in the law courts is expected to instill confidence in investors and reduce the time spent in litigation for both taxpayers and the Ghana Revenue Authority. The committee further noted that currently, taxpayers who fail to register with the revenue authorities or who fail to submit returns or make misstatements in documents or omit relevant information from documents can only be penalized when identified by the revenue authorities”.

“This imposes a costly burden on revenue administration. The voluntary disclosure procedure included in this Bill will therefore relief taxpayers who voluntarily make disclosures of these infringements of the tax laws and make it easy for the revenue authority to collect the revenue.”

He added that “It will also encourage more tax payers to also come forward and register with the authorities without the fear of being asked to pay penalties. It is further expected that the passage of the Bill will lead to an increase of corrected returns filed with the revenue authorities.”

The final passage of the Bill will among other things improve investor confidence as hearings will be determined faster.

The GRA also believes the new amnesty regime should lead to the registration of about one thousand voluntary taxpayers.

Source: Business