The Vice President of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, says if the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is given the nod to govern the country for another term, small businesses will pay their taxes online.
This forms part of government’s efforts to digitalise every sector of the country.
At the official launch of the NPP manifesto at Cape Coast on Saturday, Dr. Bawumia stated that this new development will make it easier to monitor the payment of taxes by Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
“We want to introduce regulatory flexibility for MSMEs in their compliance because there’s so much hustle under the current dispensation that we see for many MSMEs in complying with taxation. So we want to introduce a simplified tax regime for MSMEs with a very flexible one and make sure they can pay their taxes online. So that tax collectors from GRA cannot come in and harass them for non-payment of taxes. In fact, we would totally discourage payment of tax or levies in cash. You will do it on your mobile phone through mobile money,” he announced.
Still on making the business sector better, Dr. Bawumia promised that every small business will have a unique identification in order to monitor all businesses effectively.
“We’re going to introduce a single business identifier. Just as you have for individuals with a National ID card, you’ll have that for businesses so that across interaction with government, there’s one number. And that can easily be done because when you register a business, there is one number anyway. A business registration number is given so that doesn’t require new registration. We’ll just make sure that is your unique identifier.”
Tax collection among SMEs
Collection of taxes from people within the informal sector has remained one of the biggest challenges for the Ghana Revenue Authority.
To this end, the tax collectors have over the years initiated various programs to encourage individuals such as traders and commercial drivers to fulfill their civil obligations, but that has not yielded much results.
Although the informal sector contributes about 70 percent to the country’s economy, just two percent of them pay their taxes.
Even though the GRA has put in efforts to intensify education to increase tax collection from the informal sector, it has not been effective.
Analysts, however, have maintained that the revenue authority introduces new systems to better the tax collection process.