Government is not introducing any new taxes in the 2020 fiscal year.
Instead, the government will boost revenue collection to enable it to meet revenue targets.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, who made this known when he presented the 2020 budget statement in Parliament on Wednesday said government will lend the necessary support to the Ghana Revenue Authority to boost revenue generation.
The Finance Minister indicated that government will work with the existing tax systems to meet its revenue targets, contrary to the view of the opposition that the 2020 budget was going to contain a myriad of new taxes.
“We will take a radical policy and institutional reforms towards raising our tax-to-GDP ratio over the medium term from under 13 percent currently to around 20 percent. The focus will be on efficiency and base-broadening rather than imposing new taxes on our people and businesses. This way, we can raise our domestic contribution to our ambitious transformation agenda, in line with the Ghana Beyond Aid vision.”
“Mr. Speaker as you can see, we have not imposed any new taxes”.
Government has come under attack recently for the introduction of new taxes and increasing other ones including the controversial Communication Service Tax and the Petroleum tax.
Presenting the 2020 Budget Statement on the Floor of Parliament, Mr. Ofori-Atta said: “to address the challenges of revenue mobilization, Government will restructure the tax system and develop a comprehensive revenue policy and strategy.”
The government’s revenue target for July 2019 fell short by GHS5 billion; prompting concerns from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Finance Minister, Mr. Ofori-Atta explained that government’s revenue mobilization “strategies were not [being] implemented the way we wanted it to be implemented.
Government then made some changes to the leadership structure of the GRA.
Former Director-General and Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Prof. Stephen Adei was subsequently appointed the Board Chair of the Ghana Revenue Authority.
There were other drastic changes that were all targeted at improving revenue mobilization.
Earlier reforms at the GRA
The government in June this year undertook some structural reforms at the tax-collecting agency where the three Commissioners for Domestic Tax collection, Customs Division, and Support Services Division were all rotated.
Additionally, more than 1,400 GRA personnel had their posts changed in a bid to provide the needed boosts to revenue collection.
Despite these measures, the government could still not meet the GH¢31.8 billion (9.2 percent of GDP) revenue target it set for July 2019; only raising GH¢26.8 billion (7.7 percent of GDP).