As part of efforts to facilitate effective and efficient mobilisation of taxes in the country, the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has launched the Revenue Assurance and Compliance Enforcement (RACE) initiative as promised in the 2021 mid-year budget review.
The remit of RACE is to identify and eliminate revenue leakages in the various sectors of Ghana’s economy.
While speaking at the launch of the initiative, Dr. Bawumia noted that RACE can only come out successful depending on its ability to leverage on technology.
“The effectiveness of the RACE initiative depends on the ability to leverage on technology and to integrate the rich databases from the Ghana Card, the TIN, Digital Address system, Passport and DVLA databases amongst others. The timing of the implementation of the RACE initiative rides on the back of the integration of the diverse databases now available for planning purposes. We expect that RACE will power the efforts of Government to stay the course in terms of its economic targets and to return the economy to a path of fiscal sustainability by 2024.”
The launch of the initiative was in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance. The Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Charles Adu-Boahen, explained that the initiative will help push the government into achieving its economic target and return the economy back to normalcy.
“At the launch of the Ghana.gov platform, I mentioned that COVID-19 is a crisis that requires bold and imaginative measures to lead the charge for a sustainable ‘build back’ and recovery. The RACE initiative thus forms part of the Government’s proactive efforts to move our tax revenue to GDP of 14.3% closer to the 18% average for sub-Saharan Africa over the immediate to the near term, and possibly move beyond 20% over the long run.”
Ghana has, for many years, lost huge amounts of money due to the lack of proper tax collection systems and the inability to monitor the figures.
In the first half of 2021 alone, the Ghana Revenue Authority has witnessed a GHS212 million shortfall in tax revenue.
The Authority collected GHS25.89 billion in tax revenue as against 26.1 billion cedis targeted for the period.
In the recent mid-year budget review, the Finance Minister announced the setting up of the Revenue Assurance and Compliance Enforcement (RACE) initiative to help the country achieve its revenue mobilisation target.
RACE is expected to identify and eliminate revenue leakages while reinforcing the culture of compliance, especially in the areas such as petroleum bunkering, gold and minerals export, port operations, transit goods, warehousing, and free zones operations.
It also aims to ensure high tax compliance and increase the revenue-to-GDP ratio to support the implementation of the Ghana CARES Obaatanpa programme.