The Chartered Institute of Taxation, Ghana (CITG), has inducted 64 newly qualified chartered tax practitioners into the institute after they had successfully passed the mandatory exam.
The new inductees include the Management Accountant of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr Albert Kungmaa Ziem, who joined his colleagues at the induction ceremony in Accra to be ushered into the group of people who have chartered in taxation.
The event was graced by the Deputy Minister of Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, who represented the Education Minister, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Rev. Ammishadai Owusu-Amoah, and key management members of the top accounting and auditing firms and senior chartered tax practitioners.
Read: Ali-Nakyea counsels on Ethics, Integrity, ‘faith cheques’ and failed prophecies (Video)
Speakers at the event took turns to urge the new inductees to jealously guard the principles of taxation in their daily activities.
They said it was fundamental for the chartered tax practitioners to be fair and diligent to help ensure that the right amount of taxes were collected as well as paid.
They also advised them to continue to upgrade their knowledge as well as be abreast of modern tools and techniques in the field to be able to remain relevant in the job.
Read:GRA develops system to enhance tax collection
The Commissioner-General of GRA, who was the guest speaker, disclosed that the authority had secured funding from the German Development Corporation (GIZ) to be used to establish an information and technology training institute to keep staff abreast of trends in the technology world.
He said the five million euro project would take 18 months to complete within which a curriculum for the training and retraining of GRA staff on how to use technology at an advanced level in tax collection and administration would have also been developed.
Rev. Owusu-Amoah said GRA was aware that knowledge of technology had become critical in taxation in recent times, adding that “in some of the sectors, it is because we have good technology that we are able to understand and raise some tax from them.”
“When it comes to the telephone companies, it’s all technology; if it comes to even the mining companies, there are a lot of technology issues there and even your ability to appreciate what the person is doing needs technology, and then the speed with which people can work is also technology.
“Therefore, we want to make sure that our staff are not just only qualified people as far as tax is concerned but when it comes to technology, they have a very good understanding and appreciation of it,” he said.
He added that the institute would also help bolster the government’s efforts to digitalise the economy.
Tax betting companies
The Commissioner-General further disclosed that the authority was developing a tracking system to be used to monitor the activities of betting and media streaming platforms for the purposes of tax collection.
He said system would help to track the revenues of the companies through the activities that occur on the platforms daily to allow the revenue administration and collection body to charge appropriate taxes.
According to Rev. Owusu-Amoah, the technology-based system would be ready by the end of the year to allow for its deployment and collection of taxes from the numerous betting companies, video streaming companies such as Netflix and other social media and emerging enterprises in the technology space.
He said the system was part of a wider strategy to tax the emerging economy, a chunk of which was technology-driven.
Once completed, the Commissioner-General said the system would be able to track all transactions undertaken by the targeted companies, whose operations were largely online.
He said this would be after they had been registered as taxpayers, whether residential in Ghana or non-residential businesses.
“So, the system we are developing will be in conjunction with them so that if you don't register with us and we don’t have our system being able to track every transaction that goes on in your system, then we will have to ban you from working in the country. As far as you are working in the country, you have to make sure that you comply,” the Commissioner-General of GRA said.