Accra, Friday, 20th January, 2023 – Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance has charged the Independent Tax Appeals Board, to develop strong tax dispute resolution system which is capable of supporting the country’s revenue mobilization drive and help build the desired Ghana.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta who gave this charge at the inaugural ceremony of the eleven-member board added that, they have a unique mandate to hear and speedily resolve all tax appeals made against decisions of the Ghana Revenue Authority, hence, they are to provide a fair and independent forum for dispute resolution.
The Minister after administering the Oath of Office and Secrecy indicated that, the gap of import taxes and VAT are matters which needs urgent attention.
“Despite very good efforts, our tax to GDP ratio of 13% is one the lowest in the Sub-region. Our peers are doing average of 18% whiles OECD countries at some 34% are doing almost double of that. According to our data, Ghana’s annual corporate tax gap alone is estimated to be between 9% to 12% of our GDP.”
Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta also indicated that, the current dispute resolution regime requires a taxpayer to appeal to the Commissioner-General on tax matters and go to court if they are still dissatisfied. This mode of litigation of tax disputes can drag indefinitely locking potential government revenue, generate costs and frustrates both the Revenue Authority and taxpayers.
The establishment of the board is therefore part of Government initiative to transform revenue administrations and enhance revenue mobilization which will provide an alternative tax dispute mechanism in the country, instill confidence in investors by providing a neutral entity for the resolution of tax disputes and relieve the Ministry of Finance from having to mediate or resolve tax disputes between GRA and taxpayers.
The eleven-member board has Justice Lawrence Mensah as the Chairperson and other ten members are, Mr. Peter Kwame Abebrese, Mr. Samuel Narh Djangmah, Mrs. Mangowa Ghanney, Justice Kwabena Asuman-Adu, Mr. Nii Ayi Aryeetey, Mr. Theophilus Tawiah ESQ, Mr. Emmanuel Obeng Asiedu, Dr. Isaac Nyame, Madam Catherine Quaidoo and Madam Fauziah Ibrahim.
The Chairperson, Justice Lawrence Mensah on behalf of his members thanked the Minister of Finance and the management of the Ghana Revenue Authority for the honor done them and assured that, the board will work to protect the revenue generation system of the country.
He indicated that the board will work to continuously provide strong jurisprudential support for the innovation that the Independent Tax Appeal Board is. “The brisk attempts in recent times to ensure strong judicial oversight for the taxation landscape of the country can only help strengthen the foundation that the Independent Tax Appeal Board will be built on.”
He further stated that, the focus of the board will be to help ensure that they provide efficient and effective forum to speedily resolve disputes that could create stress for market players and distorted governments income generation projections.
The board was established in accordance with the Revenue Administration (Amendment) Act, 2020 (Act 1029). END