Hundreds of people, mainly traders yesterday thronged to the Large Tax Office (LTO) of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in Takoradi to register for a Tax Identification Number (TIN) to enable them secure the Government’s stimulus package for businesses.
According to the traders, the TIN was one of the requirements in accessing the Coronavirus Alleviation Package (CAP) Fund, which they had failed to obtain despite the numerous announcements made on it for every citizen to secure.
The CAP Fund was set-up to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) whose businesses were affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19, while the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) was put in charge to manage the Fund.
One of the traders who mentioned her name as Auntie Aggie told the Ghana News Agency that she went to the office as early as 0500 hours to wait for the officers and her turn since many people had preceded her in the past days.
She pointed out that the people had thronged there because it was the deadline for the submission of the TIN and because it was also a weekend hence the need to queue and wait patiently for the process.
As late as 1800 hours, dozens of people were still sitting under a shed provided for customers outside the main hall to make sure that social distancing protocol was not thrown to the dogs, with the hope that they would be issued with their TIN numbers.
Meanwhile, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Executive Director of NBSSI has said that the country needed the right data to identify and give support to the MSMEs to serve the sector better, since it was difficult to determine their location, size and other data to qualify them to access the support.
She said that the various Associations which represented the MSMEs requested that the stimulus package instituted by President Akufo-Addo should be given to their members, but most of them did not have the data on members.
Mr Akufo Bekoe, Administrator at the GRA office, lamented that the Office had embarked on weeks of public announcements and outdoor registration exercises to enable the traders to acquire the TIN numbers owing to their busy schedules, but only few people showed up to register.
He therefore called on the public to do well to register for it to avoid disappointment and rush for it in the future when needed, adding that without the TIN so many things could not be done including opening a bank account, lodging a complaint at the Court among others.