Accra, Tuesday August 14, 2018 …. The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has inaugurated the Tax Dialogue Initiative at a brief ceremony at the Ministry of Finance.
The Tax Dialogue Initiative aims at improving tax administration and to foster cordial relationship between the Ministry of Finance, Ghana Revenue Authority and its key stakeholders including Tax partners, Associations, Unions and Chambers, among others.
Stakeholders on the Tax Dialogue meet periodically to discuss and recommend solutions to issues hindering efficient and effective tax administration in the country.
The Tax Dialogue which began this year has achieved successes including an improvement in the speedy payment of VAT refunds; payment of due VAT refunds through bank transfers instead of cheques; development of tracking arrangement for request for private ruling letters to ensure prompt responses; as well as development of an institutional database for tax rulings to avoid duplicating and conflicting.
Others measures to improve on revenues include the full implementation of excise tax stamps policy, monitoring of the downstream petroleum sector; and introduction of the Cargo Tracking Note.
Speaking at the inauguration, the Minister explained that as efforts were being made to improve revenue generation, so was the likelihood of increasing tax disputes, adding that once the disputes remained unresolved, the associated tax revenue also remained locked up.
He said, “we can collectively, through this forum create the environment that will ease both the administrative and compliance burden of tax administration”.
He also urged tax administrators to expeditiously resolve tax disputes, using Alternative Disputes Resolution (ADR) mechanisms, citing Canada, Australia, Brazil, South Africa and Kenya as countries which used ADR to effectively resolve 95%, 85%, 75%, 86% and 36% disputes respectively.
Present at the inauguration were the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr. Kwaku Kwarteng; Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti; the President of the Ghana Traders Association (GUTA), Mr. Joseph Obeng, as well as officials from GRA.END