Over two million people have already obtained their Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN), the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) announced on Monday.
The TIN is a unique identification number issued to taxpayers for official transactions, and the GRA has said it wants to use this strategy to widen the tax net for domestic revenue generation.
Mr Kwesi Bobie-Ansah, Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Public Affairs of the GRA, who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency said more people were registering to obtain the TIN because it had become a requirement for certain business transactions.
"The information we are receiving is very positive. Many people are registering to obtain the TIN and this is a good sign…we needed to start from somewhere in other to succeed in this operation and we are gradually making progress,” he said.
He explained that in accordance with the Revenue Administration Act (RAA), a person shall show the TIN in any claim, declaration, notice, return, statement or other document used for the purpose of a tax law.
The RAA, he stated, provides a list of institutions to which the TIN applies, including the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Controller and Accountant General’s Department and the Lands Commission, among others.
He urged the public to register for the TIN and to be able to transact businesses.
On April 1, the GRA, gave a hint that, a person without the TIN, an 11-digit unique number given to identify Taxpayers and enable the GRA to credit them whenever they pay their taxes, cannot open a bank account, file a case in court, acquire a passport or obtain a driver’s licence. The person will also be unable to register a vehicle, clear goods in commercial quantities from the ports or register any title to land or any document affecting land.
Other services for which the TIN is needed include registration of company at the Registrar General’s Department or any District Assembly office; receiving any payment from the Controller and Accountant General or a District Assembly in respect of a contract for the supply of any goods or provisions of any services.
The GNA’s check at four banks in the Central Business District, Accra, showed that some customers presented their TIN while others who do not have were advised to obtain one. A banker, who pleaded anonymity, said although staff had been educated on the TIN, the bank had planned to use the rest of the year to educate clients and would fully enforce it next year.
A number of people the GNA spoke to at the Passport office said they were asked to provide TIN number before being served.