GRA Waives Penalties And Interests Accrued Over Covid 19 Era

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The Ghana Revenue Authority has initiated a waiver of penalties and interests accrued over the COVID-19 period in 2020 for businesses who could not file their tax returns and make payments.

Speaking on the Eye on Port programme, Principal Revenue Officer and Head of the Project Transformation Unit of Ghana Revenue Authority, Mr. Isaac Kobina Amoako, revealed that “this opportunity is for those who fall within the period before 31st December 2020 who couldn’t file returns and didn’t make the payments thereon. In that case the penalty and interests for not paying within the period is being forgiven.”

He emphasized, however, the waiver is on the penalties and interests and not the tax, which is still payable.

The GRA official said it is a deliberate effort by government to lessen the burden and hardships suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contributing to the subject on the same programme, Head of the IT Service Center at the GRA, Mercy Amerley Brocke said a person who qualifies for this waiver has to write to the Commissioner General of the GRA through a specified form.

She said this form can be obtained from any of the GRA’s taxpayer centres or from the Authority’s website which is www.gra.gov.gh.

She added that, “once the form is completed you then attach documents showing that you have been assessed before and you haven’t been able to pay. If you haven’t had any interaction with the GRA, then the Commissioner General would ensure that you are assessed for the necessary information. Once you complete this, you submit the form and every necessary document to your taxpayer service centre for processing.”

The GRA officials disclosed that the Authority’s whistle-blower policy is still being implemented and people who would help the Revenue Authority nab tax evaders will be rewarded.

Head of the Project Transformation Unit indicated that one can report to the Debt Management and Compliance Enforcement Unit of the GRA to apply for the informant award and the person’s identity is kept confidential.

“If one is able to help GRA recover the money, you are entitled to 25% of the penalties and interests accrued over the period,” Mr. Amoako stated.

He added that, “however there is a cap, and it should not exceed beyond 25,000. If it exceeds 25,000 it goes to the board for approval.”

The officials from the Ghana Revenue Authority also touched on cashless policies embarked on by the GRA.

They revealed that since July, neither cash nor cheques are accepted at any of the Authority’s domestic tax offices, hence, urged all taxpayers to acquaint themselves with digital systems in order to satisfy tax requirements to the state.

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