Collection of VAT to be automated 2nd quarter – GRA

The collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) will be automated by the second quarter of this year, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has stated.

The measure will involve linking the teller systems, including point of sale (POS) devices of VAT-eligible companies and supermarkets, to ensure that the tax is credited directly to the GRA at the point of purchase.

The measure will ensure convenience in the payment and filing of VAT returns, broaden the tax net and enhance compliance with the ultimate goal of increasing revenue collection for the state.

The acting Commissioner-General of the GRA, Mr Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, who disclosed this in an exclusive interview with the Daily Graphic, explained that the initiative was part of a comprehensive strategy to eliminate human interference in tax revenue collection.

“Basically, it’s a service that, through your phone, POS devices or normal till systems, ensures that at the time of sales, the VAT component is deducted and immediately credited to the tax authority automatically.

With this, you don’t have an interval between the time of collection and the time of accounting for what has been collected on behalf of the authority,” he said.

Mr Owusu-Amoah also explained that the automation would not require the issuance of the normal VAT receipts, but that through the till or POS devices, the accounting, deduction and settlement would be done.

He said the authority had done an in-depth examination of the VAT regime, which indicated to it that what the country realised from VAT was a fraction of the potential that existed.

VAT investigation

The GRA, last year, deployed some members of the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) to visit small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to check on their VAT compliance levels.

It came to light that many of the SMEs were not issuing VAT receipts at all, with another large chunk falsifying their declarations.