Tax Administration Improving in Ghana

December 3, 2010 Taxation in Ghana

Maison de l'Afrique - Montréal - Drapeau du GhanaThe Ghana Revenue Authority has greatly improved the ease of tax compliance in the country throughout 2010, and issued promises that the situation will only improve in the near future.

Complying with tax administration requirements has become easier in Ghana, and the improvements are set to continue. This claim was made by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Seth Terkpeh, at the launch of Paying Taxes 2011 – The global picture, an international report on tax system compliance jointly released by the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

According to the publication the GRA takes approximately 3 months to process a tax return, while one third of countries in the African Union reported timeframes exceeding an entire year. The study also found that it took approximately 77 hours per year for a business to fully comply with its tax administration and filing requirements, only 6 hours above the world average. Seth Terkpeh attributed the positive results to the GRA’s continued efforts to improve tax compliance and customer satisfaction.

The Minister conceded that there are still several shortcomings with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), especially in regards to delays for taxpayers and corporations receiving their tax refunds. However, Seth Terkpeh claimed that the GRA is currently in the process of instating a new fully automated tax administration infrastructure, which promises to greatly decrease tax compliance costs and times. He also added that reforms were being carried out to make the GRA “more friendly” for businesses.

International tax analysts have acknowledged the importance of tax system efficiency for developing nations. George Kwatia, representative of PwC Ghana stated that countries which, like Ghana, have lowered their tax rates and broadened their tax bases, while easing tax administration , have all experienced greater tax revenues and subsequent funding for development of national infrastructure.

Photo by abdallahh